5 Signs You're Not Ready to Retire

5 Signs You're Not Ready to Retire

Retirement is the cherry on top of a life well-lived. Doing it right requires careful planning. You may be anxious to bid farewell to job but you must be ready. Here are 5 signs you’re not ready to retire.

Number 1: Financially-Dependent Children

As discussed in Still Supporting your Adult Children?, financially-dependent adult children are the number one reason Americans are not saving enough for retirement. It’s something Clark Howard has been preaching for years: save for retirement first, then support for your children.

We have an epidemic today of failure-to-launch young people who are perfectly capable of supporting themselves but choose to remain dependent on their parents instead. What do birds do when their chicks get old enough to fly? They kick them out of the nest. 

Cut the cord and set your adult children free, you’ll actually be doing them a favor. It’s not something you don’t already know, you just need to be honest with yourself and do it.

Number 2: Home Mortgage

Are you 5 to 10 years out from retirement but still have 20 years or more left on your mortgage? Think you’re ready to retire? Think again. 

For starters, you should have never taken out a 30-year mortgage. For a few hundred bucks more each month, you could have had a 15-year mortgage. 

If you’re in this situation, don’t despair. There’s still time to right the ship. Most home mortgages allow you to pay more than your regular monthly payment. You can pay it off before you retire, you just need to increase the payments. 

Contact your lender or use an online calculator like the one at Nerd Wallet to see how much more you should pay. 

When your mortgage is paid off, you will still have property taxes and insurance to pay, but they are significantly less than paying them together with a mortgage payment.

Number 3: Personal Debt

Your home mortgage is not the only thing you need to pay off before you retire. Walking away from a job with thousands of dollars in personal debt is a recipe for disaster. Ever heard of a boomerang retiree? Those are folks who retire and then discover they don’t have enough money and have to return to work. Credit cards are a wonderful convenience but they have become a trap for millions of Americans.

Number 4: Insufficient Savings

You’ve no doubt heard that it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. It takes a lot of money to bridge the gap between Social Security and the typical American lifestyle, not to mention the rising cost of healthcare. Social Security was never meant to be a retiree's sole source of income. You need a significant amount of retirement savings to supplement Social Security.

Number 5: Inadequate Planning

We’ve reached the end of our list of signs you’re not ready to retire. Inadequate planning can also make you a boomerang retiree. Without proper planning, you may end up abandoning retirement and returning to work. You'll say to your coworkers, “It wasn’t for me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be." It is if you have a plan.

If you think you’re all set to retire but you’ve got no hobbies and no social network, you’re not ready to retire. You probably think you’ll find something to do after you retire, but you won’t. You’ll end up watching sports or cable news all day until you go bananas. The average retirement spans 18 years. That’s a lot of cable news.

Get involved in something, find an area of interest. Start a New Hobby, join an organization, volunteer. You should have a few irons in the fire before you sail off into the sunset.

Good planning dictates that you get your affairs in order before you retire. Maybe you need to downsize and move out of that two-story house. Do you really need all that space? How well are you going to climb stairs when you get older?

Another consideration is your proximity to healthcare. If you’re more than 45 minutes outside a major metropolitan area, you have good reason to move. You’ll be seeing doctors more frequently and if you have a heart attack or other medical emergency you need to be close to top-notch medical facilities.


Like marriage and children and divorce, retirement is a major life change. You may not have time to prepare for some other life changes, but you’ve got all the time in the world to prepare for retirement. Create a retirement plan that not only pays the bills but also nurtures your mind, body, and soul.

Photo credit: Pixabay

The Eggstack Blog will never post an article influenced by an outside company or advertiser. There are no external affiliate links or advertisers on the Eggstack Blog. Our mission is to help you overcome uncertainty about retirement planning and inspire confidence in your financial future.
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