We have $7 million for retirement but ‘I feel bad about not working’ — should I retire anyway?

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Dear Marketwatch,

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Help me retire I am 59 years old and working. My 73-year-old husband retired three years ago. We have no debt and we own our houses and cars. Our last child is a senior in college who is fully paid for. I have $2 million in my retirement account and $5 million in our other retirement savings.

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Our expenses are about $6,000 a month, which is more than my husband’s required minimum distributions and Social Security. He can get retired Medicare for all of us at around $700 a month.

i have one Well-Paying job but management and work are not stressful and thrilling. I feel like I’ll be able to retire financially, but I feel bad about not working.

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What is up with that?

feel bad in florida

‘Retirement? How?’ I am 65 years old, I have nothing left and I am coming out of bankruptcy.

Dear Feels Bad in Florida,

Preparing for retirement is more than just getting the money you need to live out the rest of your life. Equally important is the psychological component of preparing for this lesson, so know that you are not alone in feeling bad about leaving the workforce.

I’m going to focus this letter more on your struggles to flip the switch, but I wanted to touch base quickly on the money part of retiring.

Based on the financial information you’ve shared, it sounds like you might be pretty comfortable in retirement, with the amount you’ve saved up and coming in every month as well. But of course I have to caution you to think about every possible expense in retirement—including health care (expected and unexpected costs), taxes, any major trips, and home or auto emergency repairs. Then triple-check your budget, portfolio and other sources of retirement income you expect to receive. A financial planner can really help you make sure that the money you invest is working best for you, and that your cash inflows and outflows are on track.

Check out the Businesshala column “Retirement Hacks” For actionable advice on your own retirement savings journey

A professional can also bridge the age gap between you and your spouse, and provide a plan (this includes the right estate planning) to make the most of your money over the course of both of your lives. You may also want to look into long-term care insurance.

Let’s get to the non-financial aspects of preparing for retirement, though.

First, there are no hard and fast rules on how you retire. You may be financially equipped to quit the workforce, but if you feel bad, ask yourself why. Is it because you are worried about future finances? Or because you think you should spend your time on the job if you haven’t yet turned 60? Or do you really like the idea of ​​working, and you’re not happy where you are?

I know this column is called “Help Me Retire,” but if you weren’t prepared to do so, you may not have to retire yet. It sounds like your current employment isn’t bringing you joy, and thanks to your large nest egg, you have options as to what to do instead. You can take time off to look for another position, or perhaps move from full-time to part-time work. You may also find it beneficial to quit your job altogether and engage in some sort of counseling or freelance work.

Don’t jump straight into any decision.

“Clients should start planning for their retirement well before they retire,” said Ryan Marshall, Certified Financial Planner at Ela Financial Group. This includes matters of money, such as budgets, changes in health care and withdrawal strategies, he said. But it should also include what you are going to do with your time. You may retire tomorrow, but if nothing is planned for you and your husband to do together—and separately—you may feel just as bad or incomplete in this new chapter.

Too I am 49 years old, my wife is 34 years old, we have 4 kids and have saved $2.3 million. I Make $300K Per Year But Lose Too Much Sleep ‘Worrying Tomorrow’ – When Can I Retire?

Know that once you’re involved, there are many ways to reach retirement. I love to share a list of “Six Kinds of Retirees” created by Nancy Schlossberg, an author and former consulting professor. Schlossberg has been writing about the transition to retirement for decades, and has made some changes of her own during this phase of her life (she is now in her 90s and lives as a consultant on Zoom programs about transitioning). works in).

She identifies these six retirees as: the adventurer who goes into retirement to try something new; Continuer, who follows a path that aligns with his former career; Easy glider, which has no agenda and just seizes the day; Involved spectators, who may attend events in the area of ​​interest but do not employ them; Inventor, who is not yet sure what she wants to do in retirement, but is still retired; And the retreater, who acts like a “couch potato” and doesn’t know what to do. Retirees can be any of these types at any point in their retirement, but who do you think you will be?

Some retirees find that consulting work makes them happy, and having another source of income doesn’t hurt. Others are happy to spend their time volunteering, trying new hobbies, or pursuing childhood passions. “The worst thing a retiree can do is spend an entire day doing nothing,” Marshall said.

“Some retirees can be paralyzed by the amount of information out there and have a hard time figuring out what’s best for them,” Marshall said. “Everyone’s retirement is different and they should find what’s best for them and not their neighbor or friend.”

Readers: Do you have tips for this writer? Add them in the comments below.

Have a question about your own retirement savings? Email us at [email protected]


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