I tried to make a distinct point that I wasn’t retiring – I was moving on.
~ R. Philbin
Wow! How exciting! How potentially terrifying! You’re 5 years out from your Big Day! Literally, on one hand, you can count how many more Holiday parties you will need to attend with the office crew. Before you get too far into the land of joy and happiness, however, let’s look at a few pieces and start to answer a few questions.
How prepared is my home for my own aging? While you’re still working is the time to think about a new roof or new boiler, getting those windows replaced with high-efficiency ones. What prompts that suggestion? Because you’re likely still working with a predictable paycheck. If you have to do items on your list including but not limited to making sure your bathrooms are retrofitted or ready to be outfitted with grab bars, a standard but higher toilet (called ‘comfort height’, I kid you not) and non-skid tiles on the floor now is the time to do them. Better lighting, working mechanicals, improved accessibility are all good to do now.
Do I have a car that works well and has some of the latest safety features? As we age there are natural consequences to the process including reduced reaction time, less agility for our necks to swivel around, and a desire for more comfort. I’m not even close to retirement but I can tell you that one car I used to have had a driver’s seat that was so uncomfortable it practically made me cry! Get the safety features for yourself, for your family and for the rest of us who drive near you. If you don’t wish to get a new car with fancy features then please make sure you take good care of the car you have; make sure the brakes are working well, the wipers are functional and that overall health of the engine is good.
Does my support system have my back? You might have noticed that your support system may have some stressors or strains of their own. That’s to be expected but here’s the question I’m really asking you to ask yourself, “Are my relationships reciprocal or are they one sided with me doing most of the heavy lifting?” Or perhaps people in your support system have faced unexpected and horrid situations themselves which makes them unavailable to you. If necessary you can start to add new supports to your system.
Have I had a heart to heart with my parents? If your parents are still alive you are one lucky duck. And not entirely unusual anymore! Do your parents expect to have you averrable to them for daily tasks? Do you expect that you’ll ‘hold off’ on vacations or moving until such time as your parents are no longer around? Do you know what your parents want as you both age?
Have I had a heart to heart with my family to tell them what I want in retirement? Now would be a good time to start the discussion with your family about what you want to do in retirement. If you plan to sell the family home to travel the world or downsize to an RV it would be nice to give everyone time to get used to that idea. Do you plan to move to retirement community with a variety of rules that might make it tough for one of your adult children move back in with you?
There are other areas and more questions to start to ask but for now this will be a good start! In the months ahead I’ll be sure to challenge you with a few of those; keep your eyes open on my Facebook page and Instagram (@the_mindful_retirement) (@charter_wellness) posts!
Wishing you the best for your week!