Retirement is one of the most surprisingly influential events in a person’s life. We often think about graduations, weddings, and having children, but rarely think about how we end our careers. You certainly don’t want to get to that point, only to have regrets and wish you had done things differently. Here are seven tips to think about how to have no regrets upon retiring.
1.You didn’t save.
The age-old truism goes, “It’s not what you make; it’s what you save.” It doesn’t matter if you made seven figures if you didn’t save a dime for your retirement. The worst possible situation you can get yourself into is not to provide yourself with the means to retire peacefully. You don’t want to be a year from retirement and realizing that you won’t have enough money to survive. Start saving! Start saving yesterday! It’s never too soon to plan for your future.
2.You didn’t take chances.
If upon reaching your retirement party, you find yourself looking around the room filled with regret, you’ve done something wrong. You shouldn’t be living with what-ifs as you reach the end of your professional journey. Make sure you ask for that promotion, got to work on that project, and booked the client you always wanted to work with. Leave no room for regret.
3.You didn’t achieve all you wanted to achieve.
Similarly, you want to make sure that you achieve (or at least try to) while you’re still working. If you want to get that promotion, or two, then go after it. The last thing you want is to retire, wondering why you stayed stagnant in the same position.
4. You didn’t enjoy yourself.
Like it or not, most jobs have about 80% of their time spent on the job doing something unenjoyable, and 20% spent doing something interesting. If you can do anything to shift that scale more towards the things you like, you should take those opportunities. It will make your professional, but also your personal life, a whole lot richer.
5. You left in a hurry.
You may be tempted to leave your job in a hurry after finally making it to retirement. However, you’ll want to make sure that you walk away feeling like you’ve said a proper goodbye. A job is so much more when you reach the point of retiring. You’ll want to make sure to say an appropriate goodbye to the place, the people, and your memories there.
6. You’re not planning out retired life.
The transition out of professional life can be traumatizing. It’s a difficult transition to make that you don’t always expect to be a challenge. Leaving a lifelong experience in the professional world and suddenly no longer having your job play a role in your identity can be an unexpected surprise. Think about this beforehand and plan your retirement.
7.You didn’t follow your passion.
This one, while seemingly similar to #2, lies outside of your traditional career path. You don’t want to regret not pursuing a dream of yours, only to work in a position you were not genuinely passionate about. Find something that you love to do and make sure you go after it.
Your professional life plays a significant role in your identity and development as a human being. In many ways, it is a reflection of your values; therefore, make the most of your time in the working world. Make sure you leave on your terms and that you leave the mark you wish to while you have the time.