As one of the so-called "baby boomers", we are nearing retirement. In fact, there are three people in my office that I work with who are taking early retirement. Almost on a daily basis, I hear them talking about how excited they are to be retired, how much they will live off of, and what they will be doing.
I thought having an empty nest was quite a difficult adjustment. Now, faced with retirement, I can see that it takes a lot of planning and can get pretty complicated.
Deciding on a Place to Live
We have been living in Hawaii now for twenty years. When we moved here, we had our children with us, and then one by one they have married and moved off the island. I really miss them and my grandchildren. My husband is from Tonga, and he gets homesick for his homeland. It would not be such a good idea for us to split up in retirement, so we have a decision to make. We would love to stay in Hawaii, but it is very expensive here, and we are not sure if our financial situation in retirement will support living here. Some of our children hope that we stay here, because who doesn't like to vacation in Hawaii? We love the climate here, and where our children live, there are four seasons. I love the spring and fall, but winter can be very harsh. It would be perfect if we could have a place here for the winter and another in the mainland, but for us, it is not practical. Decisions, decisions.....
Deciding When to Retire
We were offered an early retirement package. After careful consideration, we decided we would wait until the magical age of 66 to get the full retirement benefits. We also asked if the place we work offers a pension. We considered how long we have been at our current job. This can affect your benefits. Also, if you have been active in a 401(k) and whether or not your company has matched or contributed also. We sought the help of a financial advisor to see if our Social Security, pension, savings, and investments, would support us well into our so-called "golden years".
Deciding about Health Coverage
We attended a seminar regarding retirement. It was pretty depressing, especially when it comes to talking about Medical needs of the elderly. Currently we have partial coverage through our employer. We were told to apply for Medicare, but that will definitely not be enough. It was suggested that we get a supplemental policy for prescription, dental and optical needs. Finding affordable health insurance can be a challenge. It is important to have top-quality health care. Can we afford it?
Deciding What to Do When We Retire
I am sure it will be nice not to have to be to work at the same time each morning and have almost our whole lives revolving around our employment when we retire. I'm sure it will take a while to get used to retirement. What could we do so we don't drive each other crazy? I could go to the gym and work on being the hottest grandma in town, but that will get tiring after a while. I would love to spend more of my time with my grandchildren, but I don't think I could handle being a full-time babysitter. There are many hobbies I enjoy, like painting, crafts, gardening, geneology, and writing. The great thing about retirement is you don't "have to" do anything if you don't want. You can sit down and plan out your day, but if you don't get it all done, it is fine. I could challenge myself to do something I haven't done before, or just stick with the familiar. I would enjoy going through all my things and getting rid of some, and finishing things I started that I never finished. I used to love to travel, but restless leg syndrome and insomnia has made it less enjoyable. Some people need structure, while others prefer randomness. Actually my husband is random and I need structure, so not sure how that will pan out. I have heard the best thing to do when you retire is to volunteer your services. We hope to go on a mission if our health is okay.
Things you could do when you retire:
- Go to a museum
- Family history
- Antique Shopping
- Watch Birds
- Start a herb garden
- Become a photographer
- Take a class
- Join a singing group
- Look up old friends
- Bike riding
- Have fun!
Identify one thing in your life that you are definitely passionate about (besides your husband or grandchildren), but that makes you feel like a "ten" (with 10 being the best and zero being the worst). Then see if you are able to feel like a "ten" again by engaging in activities that you once enjoyed.
Retirement is wonderful. It's doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it.
— Gene Perret
I retired early for health reasons — my company was sick of me and I was sick of them.
— Unknown wise person
Retired: Just have to do what the voices in my wife's head tell me.
— Writing on a Retirement T-Shirt
A retired husband is often a wife's full-time job.
— Ella Harris