You feel like you may be ready to retire – but when and how? Choosing the right time can be a critical step towards a happy and fulfilled retirement, so if the call is sounding, what questions should you be asking yourself?

The time you to choose to retire can be surprisingly important. Whether you decide to leave in summer or winter for example, may depend on whether you feel more confident about your physical or psychological health. You will want to feel like your retirement is a happy time, so think about what will seem cheerful as well as sensible.

Getting the Timing Right to Retire - right timing, retirement village, Retirement

Also if you are in a relationship, discuss both practical details and emotional effects before you make a decision: whether you intend to retire together or at different times can have affect on how you experience retirement.

Should I leave in Summer?

Most of us find it easier to picture a ‘new beginning when the weather is warm.

The quality of light can also affect our mental health: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of clinical depression that’s strongly correlated with the shorter darker winter days. Since there is some evidence that retirees are more vulnerable to depression anyway, you may prefer to take the step in a brighter season.

Should I leave in Winter?

If your physical health is you main concern – or if you are just feeling a little tired and worn out – this could be the perfect time to retire. Taking it easy may be a better prospect than heading off to work in the cold.

The older you get, the more at risk you are from common winter bugs. Doctors are more insistent about things such as the annual flu shot for older people. So a train or office full of sniffling commuters and co workers may not be very appealing.

This can also be influenced by whether you are moving into a retirement village.

Should one of us stay on?

If one partner stays on at work while the other retires, you are likely to have more money flowing into the household.

Although it may be harder for the ‘pioneer’ retiree – they’ll be staying at home on their own, testing the waters – the second retiree can learn for their experience.

There is a chance that the retired one will find themselves in need of more emotional support – which may put extra pressure on the one still going off to work every day.

Should we leave together?

Synchronizing your work end dates means you can be there for each other as you adjust to retirement. However if you both suffer from culture shock, you will have to work it out together rather than compete over who is the ‘upset one’.

Ready to Fire The Starting Pistol?

As well as taking into account the time of year and you partners plans, there are several common triggers for going into retirement.

  • Employer – The company is downsizing and has offered a good incentive package
  • Time / Tenure – You have done your 30-35 years and earned your maximum retirement benefits.
  • Change – You’re just bored and want to do something different.
  • Money – You have enough money and feel no need to earn anymore.
  • Plan – You have go a plan, and have met the conditions you intended to meet.

Retirement is not an event but a process and one that should begin long before you turn in your retirement papers. For more information an advice about retirement check out the articles and resources at Retirement Guide.