How to Avoid Retirement Anxiety

By Tom Sponsel, CPA/ABV, CFF
Managing Partner
tsponsel@sponselcpagroup.com 

It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement. What’s especially important to consider is the fact that it’s different for everyone. It doesn’t have to mean a life of hanging out on the golf course or lounging in the sun. You may find yourself busier in your retirement than you were in the working world. Retirement can be whatever you want it to be!

The thought of retiring can also be overwhelming, as it marks the start of a whole new lifestyle for you and your loved ones. Don’t allow the status quo expectations of retirement at age 65 corner you into a decision that you are not ready to make. You need to not only include financial planning in your plan but also activity planning so you don’t become bored!  In order to avoid retirement anxiety, here’s a checklist of questions you should consider as you start the planning process.

  • When do you want to retire?
  • What are the major steps you need to take to prepare for retirement? (Who will take over your responsibilities in your business? Are you financially prepared? Are you mentally prepared?)
  • What are the main things you want to do with your free time? (Make a list of 5-10 activities.)
  • Do you want to move your homestead?
  • Do you want to travel?
  • What are your spouse’s needs/wants post-retirement? Are you in agreement?

If you are a business owner, you may not want to walk away entirely. Think about how active and involved you want to remain. Consider stepping down and taking on a lighter advisory role. Maybe limit your time in the office to one or two days a week.

Most importantly, don’t let retirement sneak up on you. Be proactive and intentional. Retirement anxiety comes from lack of consideration and preparation. So be sure to plan ahead of time and craft a crystal-clear vision of what you (if applicable — your spouse) want your retired life to look like. Also, be realistic. Know your limitations and be conscious of when it’s time for you to take a break from the business world. And make sure that break is exactly what you want it to be!

For further advice on preparing for retirement or assistance with your personal and business affairs, please contact Tom Sponsel at (317) 608-6691 or email tsponsel@sponselcpagroup.com.

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