Not working is a new experience and many of us don't have a clue how to approach it. I read a lot of articles and a book or two that gave me some direction, but no real roadmap to take me from working to a happy retirement.
While the process was disjointed and a little hit or miss, I can point to the major steps that I focused on to get to the point I am. To help you avoid the running in circles pieces that we experienced, I’ll organize this into logical steps that need to be completed. Addressing all of these is essential so don’t think that doing 7 of 8 is success. Some of them will evolve over time, but you need to have a plan to address them all.
These are the elements of your retirement transition plan inventory:
- Personal activity plan – What are you going to do with your new found freedom?
- Spousal/partner activity plan – What are you and your spouse going to do to make retirement a mutually happy experience.
- Get your life in order – We all have little messes in our lives that need to get cleaned up.
- Decide where you want to live – This is a complex question that depends a lot on many other items in your transition plan.
- Develop a retirement budget – This will allow you to assess the viability of many elements of your transition plan.
- Develop an investment strategy for your savings – This is an important aspect of a successful retirement.
- Perform a personal and family health assessment – The life you live in retirement is dependent on how healthy you are and how healthy the other members of your family are.
- Establish a calendar of events – Ideally, the inventory should be developed before you retire so that you have it as a guide to a happy retirement.
I discovered that a single hobby, no matter how exciting, can become a chore if you work on it non-stop. I ended up adding a couple more hobbies to the mix and taking occasional breaks.
I ad mit, it is nothing fancy, really, just basic project management principles like:
- capturing and tracking requirements and deliverables
- resource allocation in a multi-developer environment
- allocating time for code refactoring and documentation updates
- keeping the communications channels with the users open, establishing expectations and adjusting the plan based on their feedback