When Should I Be Thinking About Retirement?

Man looks out office window as he thinks about retirement

There’s a question we often get from mid-career professionals when we present to their firms. “When should I start thinking about retirement?” they ask. Our answer is boringly consistent. “It doesn’t matter how old you are,” we tell them. “It’s always relevant.” Even if you are still ten years away, we point out that this inflection point is already looming on the horizon, and that now’s the time to become conscious about a future path. Build now and the transition becomes a seamless experience instead of a shock.

Making Retirement Planning Relevant in the Present

The challenge is to make such a seemingly distant event relevant in the present tense. People in the prime of their careers are usually tempted to shrug it off. Nonetheless, we try to plant the seed of recognition that they need to begin thinking of retirement sooner than later.

This is never truer than when you hold hope for embracing a brand new challenge or reshaping your professional identity. It’s essential to recognize that nobody leaps from peak to peak. The best time to start laying groundwork for a future opportunity or new endeavor is now, not mere months before you are facing all of the other changes coming with retirement. You have to put one foot in front of the other and move gradually out of your comfort zone and, in time, your comfort zone expands to include what were once intimidating ideas. To be sure, the  changes that come with retirement are massive, and they have a global effect on your life. Retirement brings changes to your identity, your structure, your relationships, your routines, even your understanding of the value you bring to the world and how you bring it. Moving through this transition is a process that doesn’t happen in mere months.

The Importance of Early Preparation for Retirement

Our advice? Start years ahead of your intended retirement date to develop and explore satisfying ideas for continued engagement and meaning. As the old proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Get Help Planning Your Retirement

The experienced retirement coaches at Encoraco work with highly accomplished professionals to craft a path to fulfillment and purpose in retirement. Our team helps find the gaps, guide you through them, and leaves you with a ready to implement plan.

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