I am fast approaching retirement and spent a great deal of time thinking about it over the last few years. Am I really ready for a complete change of life? Am I ready financially?

To retire or not to retire that is the question. This week I jotted down a list of my top reasons to retire and the reasons not to retire.

Here it goes:

Reasons to Retire

  1. Enough is enough – I started working when I graduated from college and except for a few short periods of downtime I have been working full time. That is nearly 40 years of work, work, and work. Time to move on to the next phase.
  2. Financially secure – according to several retirement calculators I checked out and various reports I read I should have enough money to last for the next 30 plus years.
  3. Reduce stress – I will set my schedule and allocate my time as I see fit. No more catching a bus or train, no more running to make an 8:30am meeting. No more working late or weekends. No more trying to play the game and put up with office politics.
  4. Get healthier – I have always been active, working out several times each week but I found that work is the priority. If it comes down to staying late to complete a task at work or making it to my Pilates class, work always seems to win. No more of that when I retire.
  5. Time to travel – I want to spend an extended period of time in various locations (Belize, Peru, France, Italy, Greece, Thailand and other locations) and immerse myself in the culture and history of each location, check out the sites, sit on the beaches, hike in the mountains, etc.
  6. Time to volunteer – Volunteering is something I have done throughout my life. I would like to do more and possibly do it overseas.
  7. Time for hobbies – I have several hobbies including writing and baking. While working there is never enough time for any of them. I plan to write at least three times a week once retired. I also plan to see if my baking hobby could be a potential business. This is at the bottom of my list (after traveling, volunteering, writing, etc.) but I have been baking since my mother taught me how to make the secret family macaroons and biscotti. Over the last few years I developed a business plan for turning this hobby into a business.
  8. Attend classes – I always wanted to attend classed at our local college but could never manage it while working, raising my children, etc. Retirement will allow me to finally do this.
  9. Be around people I like – While I get along fine with my co-workers and some have become friends, I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like with my family and friends. That will change.
  10. Sleep late – Except for the very occasional Sunday morning I have not slept late since college. This will definitely change.

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