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Three Questions

Jonathan Clements

HOW DO WE KNOW we’re ready to retire? When I posted a link to Mike Drak’s recent article on HumbleDollar’s Facebook page, one commenter offered three questions that those approaching retirement should ask themselves:

1. Do I have enough? This, of course, is the question that gets asked most often. Do we have the financial wherewithal to carry us through a long and comfortable retirement?

2. Have I had enough? This may be easy to answer for folks who are lukewarm about their work, but much tougher if we enjoy our job, including not just what we do each workday, but also the folks we interact with and the sense of identity that our job offers. An added issue: If we quit and discover we’ve given up something we love, it’s unlikely we can get our old job back.

3. Will I have enough to do? Even in retirement, we need a reason to get out of bed each morning. What will give us a sense of purpose once we quit the workforce? My hunch: If we struggle with question no. 2, it’s especially important to have a good answer to no. 3—because we’ll need to replace the satisfaction we got from our job with retirement activities that we find equally fulfilling.

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