Do you practice retiring?


I know quite a few people who are approaching retirement right now. And from talking to them, one thing is clear to me: There's a lot of apprehension about making this transition.

The pressure to make the right decisions doesn't stop just because you're nearing retirement. In fact, from what I can tell, it seems to intensify. There are still a lot of important decisions to make: When should I stop working? How will I spend my day? Where should I retire? What lifestyle changes do I need to make?

There's a lot of advice to take in as well. And with that advice, you need a way to sort through it all and find out what makes the best sense for your situation.

Why practice helps

This could just be my experience, but the one thing that helps me get comfortable with change is practice.

My husband and I are avid bicyclists; but when he suggests a new route, I get the heebie-jeebies. Why? It's because I know I'm likely to face uncomfortable — even scary — situations like a truck that passes too closely or a hill that suddenly becomes quite steep.

Instead of opting out, I find a way to tackle my fears. If I can, I drive the route just to experience the terrain. I may break the route down and attempt only a portion of it so I can get comfortable with the differences.

Also, I don't look at it as a one-time event. I start making plans to ride the route over and over again. I become more comfortable and confident each time I try.

Areas to practice

Several aspects of retirement pose difficulty to prospective retirees — finances, housing, activities, health, and transportation. But experiencing the terrain in small bits may help them feel more confident about their options.

For example, they could calculate the amount of money they expect to have in retirement and start to live on those funds for a month or two. Practicing how to live on a reduced income a year ahead of time (or even five or 10 years before retirement) would give them the opportunity to practice in a controlled environment. They may find they need to increase their savings account to cover emergencies as a result.

The same is true for the other areas that are affected by retirement. Some people don't have the foggiest clue about when or where they want to retire. And it's especially difficult to estimate future healthcare needs. But each of these factors can be modeled on paper or experienced in real life.

A couple that wants to live in the Rockies, for instance, would be wise to rent a home or cabin to know whether they can handle the demands of a different climate. Someone who wants to take up golf in retirement might want to practice their swing to see if it's something they can physically do. It's all a matter of trying different things.

Practice makes perfect

A meaningful and successful retirement reflects the detail of good planning. Having confidence to make the transition may be a reflection of how big the change is from full-time employment to full-time enjoyment.

How far away is retirement for you? Do you practice retiring? What other major life changes do you practice, and how do you do it?

More about...Home & Garden, Retirement

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lmoot
lmoot
5 years ago

I love to envision the future. I’m always stuck in the future in my head so I do this all the time. I did take 6 months off and basically did whatever I pleased. I always wanted to work as a tour guide or camp counselor, so I got a seasonal job as a tour guide, which helped me get a permanent part time job as an environmental education guide. It’s not my full time job but it’s the type of work I want to do in my older years. There are plenty of finely aged people that I work… Read more »

lmoot
lmoot
5 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

The $800 also included the private room. You only had to pay for the 1st night, which was about $60. It’s free every night after until discharge.

Curtis
Curtis
5 years ago
Reply to  lmoot

Imoot,

What African country are you referring too?

lmoot
lmoot
5 years ago
Reply to  Curtis

Ivory Coast.

Kayla @ Femme Frugality
Kayla @ Femme Frugality
5 years ago

Interesting concept. I guess though I practice things too, like whenever I had a day “off” from my FT job, I practice what it would be like to be self-employed and working from home.

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago

Excellent idea — I did it for a month this year. “Dry run” retirement, and did an analysis on the blog. One thing I learned from the dry run is that my social and family life was severely impacted by the frugal lifestyle of $3K per month necessary to make it to age 90. It’s tough to travel on that income to see relatives and only a few people understood and were comfortable with what I was trying to do. The social push back was unexpected and interesting! Also, I used the amazing and free app “RetirementPlan” to help me… Read more »

JoDi
JoDi
5 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

Who makes the retirement app you mentioned? I looked in the Play store and saw a bunch so I want to make sure I download the right one. Thnaks!

Lisa
Lisa
5 years ago
Reply to  JoDi

Hi JoDi, I’m not really sure, there’s nothing on the app that states an owner or certificate, etc. Weird. The name is “Retire Plan” and the visual is a green and light red bar chart (split between green and red), with a while background.

JoDi
JoDi
5 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

Thank you! I found it, but right now, it’s only available for Apple devices. It looks like a great app though!

Bryan@Just One More Year
[email protected] One More Year
5 years ago

It is great reading this very timely post Linda. We are only about a year away from retiring from full time work. 🙂 We have been practicing this concept for a couple years now. About 2 years ago, we budgeted for and have been living off of only my income, using my wife’s income toward our rental property debt snowball. We believe that by March 2016 we will be able to live off only our passive income, no longer needing mine. That will enable us to save both of our incomes towards our travel and bucket list funds. This has… Read more »

Kate @ Cashville Skyline
Kate @ Cashville Skyline
5 years ago

My parents are actually doing a dry run of my father’s retirement right now by just living off one income. He’s planning to retire sooner than my mom, so I think it’s a smart test.

Zee Hamdani
Zee Hamdani
5 years ago

Never really thought about retirement in this way. But it totally makes sense. And might actually work for most people especially those who don’t socialize that much and will definitely be spending long stretches of time alone. Practicing retirement will just help them pave out their future and think of how they will spend their time once they retire.

JP
JP
5 years ago

Practicing the change is the most possible form of preparation for the unforeseen that is coming. As the the author mentioned , it’s definitely only and most successful way of self transformation to the retirees. One must start looking into various saving options, healthcare and other financial matters while there is enough time left.

Edward Gate
Edward Gate
5 years ago

Interesting.
For me I make saving for retirement a priority. I devise a plan, stick to it, and set my goals. Well, it’s never too early or too late to start saving :).

Gary @ Super Saving Tips
Gary @ Super Saving Tips
5 years ago

Practicing retirement is a really smart idea. I retired a few years ago and it can be a tough transition in many ways. My wife urged me to create a “retirement plan” of how I would spend my time, and I think if I had practiced this, either by writing down a detailed plan or living it while taking a week off from my regular work, it might have made things smoother.

Lisa @moneylisa
Lisa @moneylisa
5 years ago

Hi Gary, I just checked out your blog, looks like a very interesting read,Especially the tip on pill splitting. BTW, another great resource for ongoing planning is the early retirement forum online. It seems that the planning never stops in this early retirement gig, good thing I learned a lot of project management tricks in my time in the corporate cube.

Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries
Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries
5 years ago

I really like the idea of practicing retirement but my only problem is I’m ready to start practicing now! I’m only in my mid thirties so it’s probably still a little early for me.

I do hopefully plan to retire in my mid 40s though if my aggressive investments plan out as anticipated so im thinking it wouldnt be a bad idea to start practicing then.

Cheers to early retirement!!

Laura
Laura
5 years ago

I’m going to practice retiring early next year. For me, “practice retiring” means that I’m going to leave my investment banking partnership and go out on my own selling small businesses. If I do that, I can reduce my work week by about half because I’ll only work with one or two clients at a time. That will free up time for the volunteer activities that I love, and for spending more time with my beautiful granddaughter. At the same time, without having to generate enough revenue to cover the rent and salaries of junior staff, I can earn on… Read more »

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