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Are You Ready to Retire in Midlife?

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Early Retirement Retirement Communities

Many people start looking forward to retirement shortly after they get their very first payslip, and the desire to put work in the past only increases with age. By midlife, most workers begin to think seriously about their retirement and may even consider whether they may be in a position to retire soon.

Taking Stock of Your Finances

The first step in considering early retirement (after a bit of daydreaming, of course) is to take a close look at your finances, both liquid assets and those that may be tied up in property or other investments. From there, consider your liabilities; which bills would need to be paid off if a regular salary was no longer coming in? The final tally determines net worth, a great starting point of reference in determining the financial viability of retiring in midlife. Many people find that once they crunch the numbers, the prospect of early retirement seems less realistic, but for some, it is plausible to leave their days of employment behind. Meeting with a financial planner can be of great benefit for those who are planning their retirements - having a plan in place can help middle aged people to take steps toward retirement, making it easier for them to retire sooner, rather than later.

Making Lifestyle Adjustments

Retirement comes with a variety of lifestyle changes, most of which are those people might dream about during their working years. Some people hope to live simple lives after retiring, with little need for income beyond what is necessary for food, housing, and other basics, while others envision retirements filled with afternoons on the golf course and extravagant holiday getaways. Having ample time to pursue hobbies, play with kids or grandchildren and wake in the morning without the sound of alarm clocks, rank high on the wish lists of most wannabe retirees, but in order to make these things a reality, you might need to make some concessions. Planning ahead to step up savings contributions can help a great deal and a willingness to work part-time or relocate to a more affordable area can make early retirement a possibility for some.

Keeping Busy and Avoiding Boredom

New retirees may be happy to sleep late and lounge around for much of their days, but before long, boredom can replace pleasure if a bit of structure isn't added to keep things interesting. Adjusting to the freedom of retirement can take time, with some retirees feeling disillusioned upon finding that they miss being busy. For some, a return to work, at least on a part-time basis, is in order, but others may just need to find activities to fill their wide open schedules.

Retirement can be the perfect time to revisit hobbies that have been neglected due to work and family responsibilities, and it also provides opportunities to look into new hobbies and interests. Enrolling in the occasional class or volunteering for a favourite cause can help retirees fill their time in meaningful ways.

Now or Later?

Even if retiring is not feasible, there are plenty of steps that those in midlife can take to prepare themselves for a great retirement in the future. Saving for retirement is always wise, as is beginning to consider housing options. Some people choose to remain in their current homes while others prefer to downsize to something smaller and easier to maintain. For those who wish to spend their retirement years with peers, retirement communities may be the answer. These adults-only communities often have a variety of amenities included with residency, including onsite restaurants or dining rooms, game and exercise areas, swimming pools, golf courses, organised activities, and group outings.

Retirement is something that almost all members of the workforce look forward to. With proper planning and money management, a happy retirement is well within reach for most of those in midlife.

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