BOSTON (CBS) – Retirement is a scary place and I swear I am never going to retire. But I am going to get old so I may be facing some sort of retirement trauma.

I think before you start retirement for real, you should consider a dress rehearsal to see if you really want to retire. I have seen too many retirees flunk retirement. If you can do it I do believe it is worth the time, energy, and money to try and create a retirement dress rehearsal.

Try living the retirement life for a month or two. Do you have unused vacation time or sick time that you can use? Can you cut back working to part-time hours for a couple of months? This is not a transition into retirement but a trial period to see if you really do want to retire.

Include living on the income you will have coming in as a retiree. Calculate what your sources of income will be and try living on that for 3 to 6 months. How tight is it? Can you still do the fun things you had planned? Will you need a part-time job in retirement? Do you need to work longer and accumulate more benefits?

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

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

If you are coupled, do you like being together 24/7? Do you have other interests that give you time apart? Do you each have friends that you can do things with? Experience the soft side of retirement.


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