“Leave when people are sorry to say goodbye.” My mom coined this adage and most often followed it when visiting her family. Despite having to fly to three cities across Canada to see her children and their families, she restricted her visits to three nights. She chose not to overstay her welcome, especially in consideration of her in-laws.
We eventually reach a time in life when retirement becomes a real possibility. We’re of age. Or we no longer need the income. Our employer offers attractive retirement incentives. Or we’re tired of our routine. How do we decide when to leave our work?
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Many experts recommend devising a detailed plan about the look of our retirement. Others suggest adopting a more spontaneous approach. All concur we should answer at least a few questions when contemplating the prospect of leaving our workplace. Can we afford to retire is the paramount one but also important are the following:
- Will we fill our days? Outline a typical day and calculate the amount of time each activity takes. Some prospective retirees discover they won’t be able to fill their free time in satisfying ways.
- Will we manage to compensate for the missing sociability of the workplace? Our colleagues soon forget us once we go. Have we formed enduring social connections?
- Will we live in our current home or will we move … to a smaller place, a different neighbourhood, or even a new city or town?
Answering any of the questions negatively shouldn’t rule out our retirement option but should give us pause. Perhaps we need to lay better groundwork before announcing our time to go.
If our departure path appears clear yet we remain uncertain, then let the words of my mom resonate. Many years later I’m still content my colleagues were sorry to say goodbye to me. •