When can I retire? Some key questions to ask yourself

Posted in: Finance Date added:
grandchildren on beach

Once upon a time, retirement meant stopping work at aged 60 to pursue a life of leisure whilst the benefits and pension cheques rolled in. Oh how times have changed. With longer life expectancy and a greater need for financial independence, retiring at a certain age is no longer a fixed decision. So how do you know when it’s time to exit the world of work? Here are some key questions to ask yourself.

Can you afford it?

The biggest retirement question of all is whether you can afford it. Being able to live comfortably in retirement is essential – you need to map out how you’ll spend your time and work out whether your retirement income will measure up against your plans. Your pension statements should be able to give you an estimate on your likely income, but you’ll also need to take into account savings, assets and any investments. If you no longer have to contend with big financial ties such as supporting your children or paying off your mortgage, then you’re probably in good shape. To test whether you’re financially ready, you could try living on your retirement budget and monitoring your cash flow.

Are you emotionally ready to quit work?

Retirement is not just about financial stability; it’s also about feeling emotionally ready to quit work. There can be an awful lot to live up to when you take the leap – earning a living plays a key part in social interaction and daily routine, which ultimately feeds your pride and self-worth. So you need to feel confident you’re ready and won’t regret the decision. If you find yourself re-visiting the notion of retirement much more than before, this could be a key sign that you’re ready.

Have you developed a wanderlust?

Many of us harbour dreams of travelling the world, but put these plans on hold due to work commitments and overarching responsibilities like raising a family. Retirement is a prime time to feed your wanderlust. So if the thought of setting sail on a Mediterranean cruise keeps ticking over in your head, maybe it’s time to pack up your desk and tick those far-flung destinations off the bucket list?

The perfect age to retire is 60, according to our survey, but clearly there’s more to retirement than just your age. Family, finances and lifestyle all play a significant part and you need to be sure that you won’t regret your choice.

Do you feel ready to retire? Are you unsure? Or maybe you’re just intrigued?

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions.