It’s easy to think of retirement in absolutes.
But with the daunting realities of such a transition, that doesn’t mean you should! (The Motley Fool)
A better bet? Ease into retirement by cutting back on work hours gradually. Doing so could spare you a world of distress as you adjust to an exciting but challenging period of life.
To be clear, easing into retirement isn’t always an option. Some employers don’t support the idea of a phased transition and insist that their older workers either commit to full-time employment or otherwise prepare to resign. But if your company is willing to be flexible, which many are these days, then there’s much to be gained by adopting a phased approach to retirement — cutting your work hours gradually rather than going from 40 hours per week or more to nothing overnight.
For one thing, easing into retirement will give you a sense of what it means to fill your time in a meaningful way. Imagine you transition from a 40-hour workweek to a 20-hour workweek. At that point, you’ll have 20 extra hours to occupy — and you’ll get a sense of how easy or difficult it is to spend that time in a way that leaves you content. And if you find that you have too much time on your hands, you can try adding working hours to your schedule if you’re not yet ready to cut back too drastically.
Furthermore, by easing into retirement, you’ll get a chance to assess your financial situation and make adjustments, as necessary. Imagine you cut back from 40 hours of work per week to 20 and money becomes surprisingly tight. If that’s the case, you can work longer to boost your savings or give yourself time to rethink your retirement plans.