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Observations from the Brink of Retirement

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Planning for my own retirement has been interesting, as my day job is teaching financial advisers about retirement planning. At this point the planning is done, and the end of my full-time employment is on the horizon.

Here are three things I’ve learned while going through my retirement planning process.

I have found that the questions we ask people when building a retirement income plan are really hard to answer. What will you do in retirement? Where will you live? Will work be part of retirement? These are all questions that I have struggled with, and the answers keep changing. For me (and probably for most busy workers), it’s hard to figure a lot of this out until you are actually retired and have the time to give it enough attention.

One decision that does have to be addressed upfront is choosing a retirement date. This one has so much impact on retirement security that it needs to be considered carefully. At the same time, you may be looking forward to retirement life — I know I am. I look forward to joining my spouse, who has been in retirement for several years, trying new things, contributing to the world in a different way, and just having some unstructured time during the day to breathe.

I did what I would encourage everyone to do: Take your time, don’t make the decision in reaction to short-term circumstances, and carefully........

© Kiplinger