How To Retire From A Job

Would you like to know how to retire from a job? Most retirement dreams are years in the making, so it should be no surprise that figuring out exactly how to best retire from a job might take a few weeks. Here are some steps to put you on your way toward a successful retirement from a job.

  1. Plan quietly. The excitement of retirement may end quickly if bosses or colleagues think your mind isn’t focused completely on the job at hand. In today’s working environment, planning below the radar is often advisable.
  2. Gather data. Two sets of data are required before retiring from a job. First, where is your income going to come from? Request all information about benefits from work (pension, 401k, profit sharing and others), from past employment or groups and from the government. Second, what expenses will you have when you retire? New expenses may include health care and travel. Expenses that may decrease are uniforms, auto and other work-related costs.
  3. Understand your benefits. According to a study by the Society of Actuaries, most middle income families “more than likely [will not have] enough saved to provide the level of expenditures they have been accustomed to while employed.” Therefore, any benefits received should be thoroughly researched to maximize income before deciding whether to retire. Most benefit packages offer choices. Read all information carefully to understand the package. Can you roll over the 401k to an IRA? Which pension option best fits your lifestyle? Social security benefits may apply immediately if age requirements are met, but you may choose to wait if planning to work elsewhere after retirement.
  4. Sharpen the pencil. List all sources of income and all expenses. Are you bringing in enough income to cover expenses? If you don’t have enough income coming in, do you have enough savings to cover the shortage?  If you aren’t sure, now may not be the best time to retire.
  5. Fill out paperwork carefully and completely. Check your work twice and have a friend review it also.
  6. Before signing retirement paperwork, ask an employment attorney to review contract provisions. This advice may be initially expensive, but after spending years trying to reach retirement who wants to take a chance on misunderstanding the provisions of a contract?
  7. Finally, throw a party. A big party. It’s finally time for the fun side of retiring from a job.

Try not to count on part-time income when figuring out your strategy for retirement. It's impossible to know what health concerns may develop in retirement that may make it impossible to work. Some retirement plans have cost of living adjustments. Inquire about any adjustments over time to your benefit package.


Society of Actuaries

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