Not Ready To Retire? Here’s How to Plan Now and Leap Later
Turning 65 and not ready for retirement? You know what? That’s completely OK! Some of us like to work, but we still need to plan for retirement, Here’s how to prepare for retirement but leap into it later down the road.
You’re part of an ever-growing number of people who opt to stay vocationally active later in life. For many, the decision is purely financial. But there’s a smorgasbord of social and psychological factors in play here as well. Your decision to keep working may be as simple as the fact that staying busy and productive feels good.
Retirement may well be a logical decision, but it’s an emotional decision too. Wherever you’re at with your retirement deliberations, if you’re turning 65 and not quite ready to abandon gainful employment, there are a few things you should know about and actively plan for — from the excitement of that epic vacation to the practicalities of setting up Medicare at age 65.
Pencil in Your Medicare Game Plan
Let’s start with the practical foundation of looking after your health. Your insurance is one thing that can change significantly when you do eventually retire. If you’re looking at Medicare, it’s a smart move to have a plan in advance, primed and ready to go. The ideal scenario is a smooth transition with no break in coverage. For most Americans, Medicare eligibility begins around a person’s 65th birthday. There’s an initial seven-month window enrollment period that begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and ends three months after your birthday month. Because there are penalties for signing up late, it’s best to enroll for Medicare at age 65, even if you plan to keep working. Talk to your HR department for help on choosing a plan and understanding how to balance it with your existing company-sponsored health insurance.
Know What You Want to Do Next
So you have the practical health considerations squared away. The next important step for many is to abandon the idea that retirement must spell the end of your productive life. For example, more retirees than ever are monetizing their extensive experience in the form of freelance consulting services.
There’s also an abundance of volunteer work you might consider, along with — of course — life-enriching activities you’ve been planning for years but never found time actually to make happen.
Before hitting the big R, plan for what your life will look like when you turn the page to that chapter. Set goals to strive for with a post-retirement to-do list at the back of your desk.
Keep the Social Fires Burning
It turns out that the adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” gains new meaning in retirement. Recent research has found that older adults who frequently interact with a broad cross-section of people are more likely to remain active, happy, and healthy. So before you retire, now is a great time to broaden your social circle beyond the workplace.
Each new or renewed friendship may set you up with the building blocks for a happy and rewarding social life post-retirement.
How to Plan for retirement: Choose What’s Right For You
Ultimately, it’s your retirement. When you decide to leap will likely depend on a complex array of factors, from hard financial considerations to a more subjective blend of social, psychological, and emotional concerns. There’s no right time to retire.
But there is a right time to plan, and that’s before you get there.
By building your plans for socializing, staying busy, and organizing Medicare, you’re avoiding significant stress down the line. And wherever you’re at in life, who needs extra stress?