The decision to retire should not be one that is made lightly. If you want to know if you are ready, review this 10-point checklist for No Worries Retirement
1. You have a financial plan
A successful retirement requires a well thought-out plan.
You can retire comfortably when you’ve determined your costs. Make a budget. You should know your needs, like food, electricity and mortgage and then factor in the costs for your wants. Consider travel, entertainment, lifestyle, golf etc. Then determine your retirement income.
Once you’ve weighed your expenses vs proposed income try stress testing the number you have. Can you live comfortably with that amount? What adjustments might you need to make?
2. You have considered your healthcare
Although the majority of our healthcare needs here in Canada are covered. Retirees should consider a plan to cover emergency expenses should they fall ill. If one spouse is retiring before the other, you may have coverage through your spouse’s plan. Or maybe you can continue to get coverage through your former employer. Being able to cover emergency health care costs is another sign that retirement could be a possibility for you.
3. You’re emotionally ready to quit working
You may dream of retiring long before a traditional 60-something retirement age, but be careful about making that leap too soon. If you’re not emotionally ready to quit working, you may not be ready to retire.
Remember, both the big picture and the fine details of your financial and emotional states are important to consider when assessing your readiness for early retirement.
4. You have decided what you’ll do with your time
Do you have friends apart from your colleagues at work? It’s important to develop social networks before taking the plunge.
Are your friends retired? Being the first to retire in your circle of friends can pose a challenge of what to do with your time. People think they have a lot of interests and hobbies until they’re confronted with a future full of free time.
5. Your children are financially independent
Kids, especially in their college years, are expensive. Long awaited are the years they graduate and start lives of their own. Sometimes though, this isn’t the case. Many children move back home after school to work and pay down their student debts.
There will be a point where you can stop worrying about your children and they will start to worry about you. Until then though, it’s probably best to continue working until the last of the kids have left the nest. Ok, read on for the second half done the 10-Point Checklist for No Worries Retirement
6. Your portfolio can withstand losses
Because everyone’s standard of living is different, there’s no magic amount that automatically qualifies you for early retirement.
But a portfolio that is large and diversified by asset class can protect you in bad markets. A portfolio that’s composed of different types of tax-deferred and tax-free assets is more likely to generate enough income to sustain a long retirement than one that isn’t.
One gauge of whether you are ready to retire is the amount you have saved as a multiple of your income.
7. You have a project in mind for retirement
Leaving work early to spend long days with nothing to do will lead to an unhappy retirement, and can also lead to increased spending. Having a defined travel, hobby or part-time employment plan or even the outline of a daily routine can help you ease into retirement.
If you can easily think of realistic, non-work-related ways to enjoyably pass your days, retirement could be for you. In the same way that you test-drive your retirement budget, try taking a week or more off work to spend your days as you would in retirement.
8. Your debts are paid off
If your mortgage is paid off and you don’t have any loans, credit lines, large credit card balances or other debt, you won’t have to worry about making large payments during retirement. This leaves your savings and retirement income available to enjoy life after work, and free to use in the event of an emergency, rather than having it tied up in paying off large bills.
9. Your savings exceed your retirement goals
You planned, set a goal for retirement savings and now your investments meet or exceed the amount you were hoping to save. This is another good sign you are ready. However, keep in mind that if you do leave work several years before you planned to, your savings must be enough to cover these additional retirement years. If you didn’t set up your retirement savings plan for an early retirement, you will need to recalculate the length of your savings, including these additional years.
10. You are of retirement age
In Canada you have to be 65 years old to qualify for CPP (Canada Pension Plan), OAS (Old Age Security) and possibly GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement). That could mean an additional $15,000 a year in supplemental earnings. When your mortgage is paid, you have savings and investments to live on. That could go a long way.
10-Point Checklist for No Worries Retirement
Finally, deciding on a plan for where you would live and getting agreement with your partner or spouse is key. “Stay young at heart, kind in spirit, and enjoy retirement living.” Danielle Duckery Check out my top 10 places to move when downsizing your Mississauga Home. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on my 10-Point Checklist for No Worries Retirement Scott Brubacher Broker, Royal LePage Meadowtowne Realty Brokerage (c) 647-223-0237 (o) 905-821-3200