It's normal to feel eager to retire toward the end of your career. But if financial worries or some other concerns about retirement are keeping you awake at night, you might be questioning your expected retirement date. After all, you chose that date years ago, and possibly under very different circumstances. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind about retirement, and it might even be the smartest decision you could make. If any of these six signs apply to you, delaying your retirement might be a good idea.
You plan to work part time after you retire. This is a common plan, and no one is saying it's a bad idea. But if you're counting on part time work to fill a gap in your retirement income, think twice before quitting your longtime career. It isn't always easy to find a job in our current economic climate, and you might not be able to count on your health to hold up forever.
Your spouse doesn't think it's a good idea. If your spouse is reluctant about retirement, ask them whether they have financial or emotional concerns, or both. It's always better to be on the same page about major life decisions.
You don't know what you're going to do every day. After decades of hard work, lying on the couch watching C-Span might sound perfectly enjoyable. But in reality, you won't be happy with a do-nothing lifestyle for long.
You're relying on the stock market to perform well. As we have seen in recent weeks, the stock market can be unpredictable. You shouldn't count on a certain performance from your stocks – in fact, you should assume that there will be occasional dips in the market. Make sure your investment portfolio is well-rounded and that your risk is minimized before you retire.
You can't afford health care. If you're counting on Medicare to pay for everything you need, think again. The program does not cover many expenses such as prescription medications and long-term care. Have you factored these out-of-pocket expenses into your retirement budget?
You're over-burdened by financial obligations. Are your kids still living at home, or are they in college? Have you co-signed with anyone on a loan? Are you saddled with credit card debt? Have you set aside money for emergencies such as home maintenance or car repairs? You don't want to stretch your retirement budget too thin, so think carefully about whether you can cover your current obligations when you're living on a fixed income.
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