You’ve worked hard your whole life. In the process, you’ve scrimped and saved and kept money aside for the day you can retire. It’s finally here! It’s time to retire! You’re excited, but you’re also wondering “now what?” You had no idea that the process of retiring would be a full-time job all its own. There’s more paperwork involved than you filled out buying your home years ago. You’re a bit overwhelmed and just want to skip ahead to the part where you can sleep in and spend your time doing hobbies and other things that appeal to you.
This is normal. As the baby boomer generation retires in large numbers, you’ll find that many of your peers feel the same way. Breathe. Then walk through these steps to help you take control of all of it.
First, your company needs to know your intentions. They’ll likely have a lot of paperwork you need to fill out to set the wheels in gear that enable you to collect your pension and pull out funds for your company-sponsored retirement accounts. Make an appointment and ask them to help you with the paperwork.
Each retirement account you have has slightly different requirements for taking money out once you retire. Don’t struggle through understanding it all yourself. Instead, make an appointment with your financial planner to help you work through all the details and file any necessary paperwork to set things in motion.
Many people downsize their homes upon retirement. Some even buy an RV and see the country. This is a positive change, but can certainly add to the feelings overwhelm. If downsizing can wait, put it off until other details are in order. If it can’t, break it into small pieces. Pack one room at a time. Work with a trustworthy realtor to list your home and find your new one.
Ask for Help
Think about what resources you have for help. Can you ask your kids or neighbors for help with some of the heavy lifting? Still feeling overwhelmed? Hire a professional to help you!