What IS the question? When should I …? or Will I have enough to …? or something else?
So many of us ask ourselves this question: “Will I have enough to retire?” This question is more than a question, it is really a significant worry for many. We are really worried that we will NOT have enough to retire.
Then there are those of us who ask the question: “When can I retire?” This question can also morph into a worry, but most of the time we are questioning how long we must work full time to save enough to retire comfortably.
There are variations on these themes of course. Some of us combine the questions into something like: “When will I have enough to retire?”.
Let me reword the question to get to the heart of the matter: “When will I be able to retire based on my savings, investments, and spending needs?”
I could go on. The point is that all these questions are valid, important, and need to be honestly answered. In order to get a good understanding of your readiness to stop full-time work, many facets of this “retirement questioning” need to be asked.
Personally, I think the questions that need to be asked and answered, all have to do with what you plan to do WHEN you decide to retire. What will you do with your free time? Are you going to play golf every day? Are you going to spend your free time with those grandbabies? Are you going to travel 6 months of the year? Are you going to volunteer your free time to your church or local charity? Are you going to build that dream vacation home? Maybe you will start a business based on your passions or interests? Maybe a combination of all the above?
The answers to these questions help to define the vision you have for your retirement. This is important to do years BEFORE you retire. Why? Because it is in answering these questions that you can start building a financial needs assessment of the income you will need to fund those plans and dreams. You need to have a feel for your spending projections during retirement in order to know if you are saving enough and investing properly. You need to have the end in mind in order to know “when will I have enough to retire”.
Of course, you can change your mind along the way. But seriously trying to define that vision of retirement will help you know if you are on a path that is potentially successful or if you need to adjust. Either adjust your savings and investing or adjust your retirement expectations. Either way, it is peace of mind.
Let me know if I can help you build such a plan! I look forward to brainstorming and thinking this through with you!