Like quitting a dangerous drug, experts recommend easing out of work and into retirement with a planned and measured approach. Sure, you could go cold turkey, but it’s a risky road to take.
Retirement planning won’t guarantee an idyllic retirement, but it does increase the likelihood that you will be financially prepared for the rigors of not working. Ideally, you’ll begin charting your transition out of the workplace and into retirement at least five years from the time you plan to leave. Starting as much as a decade out would be even better.
“If you do the planning ahead of time and realize that you need to recalibrate your original vision, then you can work longer or save more aggressively,” says Maria Bruno, senior investment analyst at the mutual fund company Vanguard.
“That gives you time to work toward that plan so you can fine-tune it,” she says.