BOSTON (CBS) – I am hoping I never have to retire. Because retirement is a scary state of being.

But I am going to get old so I may be facing some sort of retirement trauma. I need to have plan B in place for only 5% of 65-year-olds are still working.

About 50% of retirees leave the workforce earlier that planned so about 5 years before you want to retire consider a dress rehearsal to see if you are really ready to retire. I have seen retirees flunk retirement. If you can pull off a dress rehearsal I believe it is worth the time and energy.

Do you have unused vacation time or sick time that you can use? Try living the retirement life for a month or two.

Finances are a big factor in retirement. Calculate what your sources of income will be and try living on that amount for 6 months to one year. How tight is it? Can you still do the fun things you had planned? Travel? Fun weekends away? Spoiling the grandkids?

Do you need to work longer and accumulate more benefits? It is easier to continue working than find a new job post retirement. Will you need a part-time job in retirement?

What are you going to do with your time in retirement? It will be a Saturday every day! Get a monthly calendar and spend some time filling in the days. Volunteering? Grandkids? House renovation? Golf? Travel? Gardening? Hobbies? Watching TV? Studies have shown retirees increase their TV time.

If you want to live some place warm like Florida or Nevada try your dress rehearsal in July or August. 120 degrees is still 120 degrees no matter how dry it is! And if it’s Burlington, VT where you want to retire try living there one winter. It is deceptively beautiful in the summer!

If you are coupled do you like being together 24/7? Do you have other interests that give you time apart? If you were thinking of downsizing, do it now while you can still carry boxes up and down stairs. Are you ready to part with some of your stuff?


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.

  1. Mary Nikko says:

    Retirement does not have to be scary. The key to a happy retirement is to prepare for the lifestyle you want to live and the funds required to support that lifestyle and to remain physically, mentally and socially active once retired. If work is your life you should get involved in other things before retirement (hobbies, volunteering, travel, etc.) This will make the transition to retirement easier. I recently read several guest posts on the site Retirement And Good Living by retirees who redefined their lives once retired. They are sailing full time, started businesses based on hobbies, RVing across the US and New Zealand, backpacking across the globe, volunteering with various organizations, retiring overseas and more. It gives you a good perspective of the possibilities

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