Preparing for retirement is a cornerstone of any financial plan, but a lot can change as you approach your golden years. That’s why trying a “retirement dress rehearsal” well before you stop working can reveal items to be addressed or give you reasons to adjust your expectations.
Double-check your financial details
Most people’s anxiety about retirement comes down to finances, so feeling comfortable and confident in the numbers can go a long way toward alleviating doubts or worry. Use the 4 percent rule to quickly estimate a suitable nest egg amount, or explore free online retirement calculators to compare and contrast target goals based on your current age. Don’t just consider the big number, either. Make sure to review your budget and cash flow because every penny counts.
Consider your current and anticipated standard of living.
Anticipating financial readiness requires making a few guesses in addition to your straightforward calculations. Take time to consider how closely your retirement lifestyle will mirror your current lifestyle. If you anticipate relocating or caring for dependents during retirement (especially if children or grandchildren will live with you), make sure to factor those additional costs into your financial projections.
Prepare for a major mental and emotional shift.
Don’t neglect the psychological impact of retirement, especially when it comes to your social habits and sense of identity. Without built-in, on-the-job interactions with colleagues, clients or customers, it’s even more important to strengthen human connections. Research suggests that loneliness and social isolation are a growing threat to public health, so be sure to invest time and resources to keep up with family, friends and activities to ensure continued well-being as you age.