How To Retire in 5 Simple Steps

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If you’ve ever wondered How To Retire, today’s post is for you.  A summary of the 5 most important steps you need to take as you’re considering retirement.

While these may be 5 “simple” steps, if you do them right they’ll be anything but easy.  However, getting the decision correct on when you can retire is an important one, and it’s critical that you check these 5 boxes before finalizing your decision to retire.

If you're wondering how to retire, follow these 5 simple steps as you finalize your retirement decision. Click To Tweet

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How To Retire in 5 Simple Steps

I started this blog at Age 52 to document my journey to, and through retirement.  I retired 3 years after my first post.  Through my weekly writing, I figured out how to retire, and how to fit the puzzle pieces together to determine when I could retire without worrying about outliving my money.  I’ve shared my journey and lessons learned along the way.

Based on my experience and other articles I’ve read, I’ve boiled down the key steps below, summarized as How To Retire in 5 Simple Steps.  I’ve also included “Further Reading” links for each of the 5 Steps to articles written (and free spreadsheets I developed) as I was going through the process myself.

I hope these steps prove helpful for anyone trying to determine how to retire.


1. Determine Your Retirement Lifestyle

During your working years, many of your lifestyle decisions were dictated by your employment.  Where you lived, how much you drove, how much travel you were able to do, etc. were all dictated by the need to earn a paycheck.

That changes in retirement, and the important first step in “How To Retire” is to decide what you want your retirement to be.  The impact of this decision will impact your spending needs in retirement, which drives how much income you need to derive from your investments.  Combined, these determine when you’ll be able to retire.

Figure out your retirement dream first, even if it’s only at a high level.   

  • Are you going to downsize for retirement?  What’s that look like?  When will you sell/buy/move?  
  • Are you going to travel extensively?  Internationally or domestic?
  • Are you planning to pursue new hobbies?   
  • What interests you, and how much will it cost?

Further Reading:


2. Estimate Your Retirement Spending

In my experience, this was the hardest of the 5 steps.  Hardest, but arguably the most important. 

Understanding what your retirement will cost is critical as you figure out how to retire.  Ultimately, retirement is a math problem and it comes down to determining if you have enough income to cover your retirement spending.  If you do nothing else, get this piece right.

I recommend the following approach (it’s the approach I took as I estimated our retirement spending).

  • Track your actual pre-retirement spending for a year (feel free to use my free Spending Tracker).
  • Adjust your pre-retirement spending to reflect changes that retirement will bring (see the screen shot above).
  • Build an annual projection to estimate how your spending will change over retirement (see my Retirement Cash Flow Model).

For example, if you’re planning on downsizing and using your home equity to enter retirement debt-free, you’d eliminate your mortgage payment as one of the “post-retirement” adjustments.  Are you going to require private health insurance before Medicare kicks in?  Make sure it’s reflected.  What about the taxes you’re going to have to pay to access that Before-Tax IRA or 401(k)?  Yes, that’s an expense you’ll need to cover in retirement.

You’ll likely have some active years early in retirement (the “Go-Go” years), followed by reduced spending (“Slow-Go”), then an uptick as health expenses increase in your later years (“No-Go”).  I found it helpful to map out my Retirement Cash Flow through Age 95 to reflect these variations and took it a step further by creating multiple scenarios.  While not required (you could simply look at your spending in Year 1 of retirement), I gained confidence in my retirement plan by extending it through my expected lifespan.

Don’t use a rule of thumb to estimate your spending (e.g., the infamous, but incorrect, “80% Rule”).  The retirement lifestyle you’ve designed in Step #1 will drive your spending, and it’s important to get it as accurate as possible.

Further Reading:


3. Determine Your Retirement Income

Finally, in Step 3 of How To Retire, we reach the step that most people think of first.  “Do I have enough money to retire?” is a question everyone asks when they’re deciding when to retire.  At this point in the process, it’s time to determine how much income you can generate from your life savings.

First, do your homework on any fixed-income sources you’ll receive, including pensions, social security, annuities, etc.  If you’ve not yet done it, click on ssa.gov to get a realistic estimate of your Social Security income at various claiming ages.  If you’re planning to work part-time in retirement, add in a line to capture any income you expect to earn in retirement (I’d encourage you to be conservative). 

Second, if you’ve not yet done so, put together a Net Worth Statement.  To see why it’s important, read this article.  Feel free to use my free Net Worth Template!  (Just make sure to go to “File / Make A Copy” to save a copy onto your drive to allow you to make changes).  As you finalize your Net Worth statement, subtract “non-spendable” assets (e.g., cars) from your total to determine the assets you have available to fund your retirement, which we’ll call “Retirement Assets”.  The above screenshot from my template (fictitious numbers) shows the process.

Third, multiply your “Retirement Assets” by 3% and 4% (as shown in lines 54 and 55 above) to determine the range of annual withdrawals you can safely make from your investments to fund retirement, shown as $14,130 to $18,840 in the example above (the 3-4% range reflects the range most experts agree you can safely withdrawal from your investments without outliving your money).

Finally, add your fixed income, part-time work income, and investment withdrawals together to determine the total amount of income you can safely expect in retirement.

If you’d like to read more details on the process, read this post (it’s the approach I used when I was determining our retirement date).

Once you’ve totaled your expected income, compare it to your expected spending.  If you have sufficient income to cover the spending, you’re ready to retire (actually, you still need to complete Steps 4 and 5, but your finances are sufficient to support your retirement). 

If your income is insufficient, you can project how many years of additional savings will be required to increase your income to the required level.  You can also revisit your spending assumptions to see if there are any adjustments you can make to reduce your spending number and retire earlier.

At this point, by modifying the savings and spending assumptions, you can determine your retirement timing, perhaps the most important decision in the “How To Retire” question.  I’d also encourage you to run your numbers through various retirement calculators to provide different perspectives on your numbers.

Further Reading:


how to protect your retirement

4. Build Your Defenses

In your final year before retirement, it’s important to modify the way you manage your investments.  Moving into the Withdrawal Phase of retirement requires a different strategy than you’ve used during the Accumulation Phase, and now is the time to make that transition.  The following are the key highlights, I encourage you to dig into the “Further Reading” at the bottom of this section if your retirement is less than 2 years away.

  • Withdrawal vs. Accumulation:  In retirement, you’ll be withdrawing from your savings, rather than adding to them.  Use a system to build a retirement paycheck, which automates your withdrawals and keeps you within your spending limits.

  • Avoiding Sequence Of Return Risk: Sequence of Return Risk refers to the risk of having to sell your stocks in the midst of a bear market.  To avoid this risk, consider modifying your Asset Allocation to ensure you have sufficient liquidity to cover a minimum of 2-3 years of expenses without having to sell stocks. I use The Bucket Strategy to maintain 3 years of cash and an additional 5 years of bonds.  There are alternative approaches, what’s important is that you implement a plan that works for you.

  • Develop a Drawdown Strategy:  It’s important to determine what assets you’ll be drawing from, and in which order.  Ideally, you’d like to keep your Roth investments in place as long as possible, allowing tax-free growth.  See Our Retirement Investment Drawdown Strategy for details on our strategy.

  • Maintain A Safe Withdrawal Rate:  As mention in Step 3 above, most experts recommend withdrawing no more than 3-4% of your portfolio per year to ensure you don’t outlive your money (adjusted annually for inflation).  At a minimum, implement an Annual Financial Review to ensure you’re staying within your spending limits.

  • Beware Inflation:  While it’s been tame for years, don’t forget the risk of Inflation: The Silent Killer of Retirement.  As you manage (and rebalance) your Asset Allocation over the years, ensure you have sufficient exposure to categories which will allow you to grow your portfolio on par, or better than, the rate of inflation.
  • Minimize Taxes:  Remember all of those tax savings you enjoyed when you contributed to your Before-Tax IRA or 401(k) during your working years?  Accessing those funds will trigger a tax bill, and it’s best to have a strategy to minimize the tax expenses over the course of your retirement.  Before the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) is triggered at Age 72, consider doing annual Roth Conversions

  • Maintain Your Health:  One of your biggest expenses in retirement will be Health Insurance, so do what you can to keep yourself healthy.  Take advantage of your newfound time to implement a regular exercise program.  Do an annual health screening, and monitor developments in the health insurance industry closely. 
  • Do An Estate Plan:  The one reality that none of us can avoid is that we will die someday.  Don’t deny it, and don’t fret about it.  Enjoy living your life, but build an appropriate plan to ensure that your desires are implemented when that time comes.  Put a solid Health Care Directive in place, update your Will, get the appropriate Power of Attorneys in place, etc.  Legal Zoom has an entire section on Estate Planning. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, schedule an appointment with an attorney.  

Further Reading:


5. Develop Your Retirement Passions

While many people focus on the financial aspects of retirement planning, I’ve discovered that it’s really the non-financial aspects that will make your retirement a rewarding experience. Don’t complete the “How To Retire” process without spending as much time as possible thinking about the “softer side” of your retirement.  It was the primary theme of my book, Keys To A Successful Retirement, and has consumed the majority of my writing since retirement.  In your final year of work, start “building a bridge” to those activities which will become important in your life post-retirement.  Start some new hobbies, make new friends outside work, get involved in a local charity.

For some reason, people often overlook the importance of this step.  Don’t be one of those people.

Retirement is the time to pursue your dreams, but it’s also a time when your risk of depression increases.  The primary difference between those who struggle in retirement vs. those who enjoy the transition is this step.  I could write pages on this one (I already have), but I’ll leave it at that.  I’m listing a lot of articles under this one, and I encourage you to read at least 2 that are of interest.  I can’t reiterate the importance of this step, don’t complete your “How To Retire” process without spending as much time as possible on Step #5.  Please.

Further Reading:


Conclusion:

There you have it, How To Retire in 5 Simple Steps.  I’m convinced that anyone who follows these steps in their final years of work will enjoy a more rewarding retirement as a result.  If you’re getting serious about retirement, I encourage you to work through these steps as you finalize your retirement decision.  Your life will be better as a result. 

Further Reading:

By design, this article is a simplified overview of the steps you’ll need to work through as you figure out how to retire.  If you’d like to dig deeper, here are some related “mega-posts” which follow a similar approach of linking to related topics.  


Your Turn:  Are you trying to figure out How To Retire?  Were these steps helpful, or are there other areas you’re struggling with?  If you’ve already retired, what additional steps did you take that others should consider?  Let’s chat in the comments… 

38 comments

  1. I really like the way you’ve broken everything into 5 simple steps Fritz!

    While simple, they’re not necessarily easy to achieve. Thus, your further reading links are incredibly valuable for anyone preparing for the day they leave work.

    I also agree the non-financial aspects are the most overlooked. “Keys to a Successful Retirement” covers this aspect so well it should be mandatory reading for prospective retirees. There are so many moving parts most of us either don’t consider or assume all will be good. The only additional I’d suggest might be to include sub steps within this fifth step.

    1. Shannon – haha, just like me. I’m a simple man, though anything but easy. Smiles.

      Thank you for the strong recommendation for my book, much appreciated. I agree with your suggestion to include sub-steps within the 5th step, but decided to keep it a bit simple for this post. Cuz, you know, I’m a simple man.

  2. Nobody does it better than you! I particularly like the focus on what comes after. My thoughts are don’t wait until retiring to develop those passions, find a way to live a life that has multiple hobbies you love while you are still working. And/Or slide into retirement with some part-time work you enjoy so there isn’t that huge abrupt cliff of going from wide open throttle to a dead stop. I had both of those working for me and skipped that very possible depression phase completely.

    1. The theme from that James Bond movie rings in my head, “Nobody does it better….” Goldfinger, perhaps? Though I would argue that there are many who do it better than me. I’m just a retiree who loves to write….thanks for your loyalty in reading my words. Great suggestions in your comment, thanks for taking the time to add them to the discussion.

  3. Another great insightful article Fritz. I’ve been retired 5 months today and tomorrow I’ll turn 63, so I’ve had some time to get used to the retirement lifestyle, and so far I can only say it’s been great. My wife is still working as an RN three days a week and that allows us time to travel and visit our kids and grandkids. Since July 2nd we’ve been to Florida twice, LA to see our newest grandson, Pittsburg to see our oldest son’s family, and Charleston, SC to celebrate the first birthday of our granddaughter, and a trip to a state park lodge in the Cumberland area of SE Kentucky with our car friends. And currently I’m building a three car addition to my detached garage/shop to be able to do more classic car restoration projects.
    I’ve been asked several times if I miss my job, and I can honestly say that I haven’t missed a day! I miss some of my co-workers , but not the job. I continue to read and study financial articles and I am slowly developing my strategy for my retirement paycheck by selectively taking dividends as cash instead of automatically reinvesting as I’ve done for years. That’s still a work in progress.
    All I can say is keep up the good work Fritz. We all appreciate it.

    1. Dale, I can’t believe it’s already been 5 months for you, seems like yesterday. Thanks for taking me along on your journey, sounds like your retirement has started out well. Happy to hear it, though I must admit I do have a bit of shop envy (though, gotta say I’m loving my new woodworking shop, I’ll have a post about it once I get done building it out. Working on a moble assembly table at the moment that lines up perfectly with my table saw to use as an infeed table. Fun stuff.

      1. I’m not really understanding why some Americans are still travelling all over the country during a raging pandemic to visit family. If good health is a priority for long and happy retirement, this seems contradictory. Things are not much better here in Canada, but most people I know are giving up family visits and holiday gatherings to try and stop the curve. Are you quarantining for 10 days before visiting your kids/grandkids? And your wife is an RN and thinks these visits are okay?

        1. Buddy, thanks for your comments. Yes my wife and I have traveled quite a lot this year and have not had any adverse consequences. We take precautions such as wearing our masks when in public places and washing our hands frequently, but we have not let fear of Covid completely stop us from living. I know there are vastly differing ideas on this matter but for us we haven’t seen any bad results. Yes my wife is a nurse and definitely sees the bad side of the virus so we don’t take it lightly.

        2. I agree completely with Buddy. Have they not been keeping up with the Covid pandemic since he retired?? I will wait for family visits until mid to late 2021 AFTER vaccinations have been made available for most Americans….

  4. Great article Fritz! I forwarded it on to our son. Hope he learns all he can while in his 30’s! Did I ever tell you that my dad’s name was Francis but he went by Fritz?

    Everyone has their own strategy while planning retirement, that is why they named it Personal Finance, after all. 😉

    We will have six steady checks while in retirement, starting whenever I decide to draw my SS. Two annuities (one for my lifetime), 2 public pensions, and our 2 SS checks. These will total more than $5K over what our expenses will be. We are grateful! Personal Capital states we will not have to draw any “meaningful” funds from our portfolio. Nice to know, and we are also proud of our ESI rates. Told my wife we need to start flying first class, but don’t know if we ever will. Plan is to greatly increase our giving rate as we age. Kids do not need to inherit any more than about $300K in my humble opinion. God has blessed us with so much and we plan on sharing.

    God’s blessings to all of your readers. Keep up the great giving you perform Fritz….informing people HOW to make a great retirement possible!! Thanks for reading this young man!

    Humble and grateful, Steve

    1. Steve, there’s no greater honor than having a Father send my words to his Son. I hope he gets takes your advice. After all, I’ve got the same name as his grandfather, right?

      Your 6 check system sounds great, nothing better than having more money flowing in than you need! Good for you for starting to focus on increasing your giving and enjoying the fruit of your labor. Nothing wrong with flying First Class, you’ve certainly earned that right. We are, indeed, blessed.

  5. Hi Fritz

    I’m new here an have been enjoying your pages. Sorry for the long post, but reading this and many other stories has encouraged me to reach out. Next year, May of 2021 I turn 62 and July of 2021 reach my 40 year anniversary working for the same company. Staying until 62 allows my wife and I to remain on my employers health care program until I turn 65 when I can switch to Medicare, which is a nice benefit. It has been a good career but the last 2 years have been extremely difficult as I have been put out to pasture after returning to the corporate office from a 6 year international assignment. I am left out of the inner circle I once was accepted in, and have been struggling to be relevant and regardless of the efforts and continued successes, it’s not the same. My original plan was to work until the end of the year 2021 which is 106 work days past my 40 year anniversary date in July. by doing this, my retirement account would be padded about 200K with company stock, and I will earn 5 more months of salary, both will more than pay for my youngest sons last 2 years of college and add to my 4th retirement bucket. My first 3 buckets have 25 years of retirement covered, so this is not a make or break situation, but it is significant. The problem is I’ve been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster lately. Some days I feel I can make it, and some, I feel so left out that I want to leave the day I turn 62. I never thought I would have this issue as I have lots of interests and have looked forward to retirement, but I just don’t feel I’m appreciated any longer and really would have liked to leave on a higher note, but it’s just not there. Obviously having a 40 year career with 38 of those years having upward mobility is a success, but once your present ego takes over, it gets hard to hang up the spikes and call it a day. You still want someone to tell you that you’ve done well, and it’s not there. Any advice for riding this out until the end of the year, 106 working days and any advice on how to cope and suppress these emotions would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. Tom, there’s SO much I could say, I may have to dedicate a future post on the topic you raise. I can totally relate to your current situation, I think it’s one that almost everyone faces in their final few years of work. Sad how common it is, but a true reality for many of us. I, too, felt under-appreciated in my final years, and ironically did the same mental gymnastics of “well, I can’t complain of having 30+ years out of a 33-year career being truly enjoyable. Run your numbers, it’s just a math equation. When you can get out, get out. You’ll love life on the other side of The Starting Line. Hang in there, patience is the hardest part of the game. If you’re ok with it, I may use your comment as the basis of a future post. LMK if that would be acceptable, you’re certainly not alone in those feelings and I think many would benefit from it. BTW, the situation does appear worse for those coming “home” from Ex-Pat assignments, the highest turnover in Corporate America is folks coming back from Ex-Pat work. Their employer doesn’t value that experience as much as they should, while other employers view it as a huge plus. As for advice, I’d just say focus on the prize, and ride that treadmill with a fierce determination. It will be over before you know it, though it is a living hell while you endure to the end. Run your numbers, pick a date, then hold your breath and wait. Hard, but really the only viable option given how close you are to the end, in my humble opinion.

      1. Fritz

        Thanks for the reply and the thoughtful advice. Feel free to use this story and hopefully it helps others that find themselves in a similar situation. I’ll push on and try to make the best of the situation and frame it a bit differently, I know for sure if I make until the end, I certainly will not second guess, or have any regrets leaving.

        Thanks

        Tom

        1. Much appreciated, Tom. No promises on timing (I’ve got ~50 ideas in my “draft” blog folder), but you’ll see the post in the coming months. I also thank other readers (Dale & Kirk) for responding to your comment. Further evidence of how others have faced, and dealt with, the same. Hang in there, this too shall pass…

      2. Fritz and Tom, I too think this is very common in corporate America. I had been with the same company for 38 years and was planning to retire on January 2, 2021, my 39th anniversary date. But like you I was not feeling appreciated anymore and felt like I was just putting in my time. It really wasn’t fun anymore. But in April the oil price crashed and turned negative for a day, (I’m a petroleum geologist) and my boss asked me to consider retiring 6 months early. I too was 62 and the company would keep my wife and I on the company health insurance plan until I’m 65, so that definitely made the decision easier. I figured if I was ready to retire in January, I was ready to retire in July and by doing so I got to enjoy the summer instead of retiring in the dead of winter. I agree with Fritz. If the numbers work, pull the plug. You won’t regret it a bit.

  6. Really solid steps. Nicely complements your book, which I’ve also found very useful.
    As I progress on my own journey, I find that while finances are a super important aspect, retirees underestimate the other aspects, like Wellness. I’m glad you included the section on Developing Passions.

    1. OldWiseGuy! Great to see you here, thanks for the comment. Yep, it seems almost everyone who has retired comes to see the value in Step 5. Unfortunately, very few of those who haven’t yet retired realize it’s importance. But, rest assured that in time, they most certainly will. 🙂

  7. Fritz– Always some of the best stuff out there. Always look forward to your posts or what you have to say!

  8. Fritz- Another great article! I think I may have read every one of your articles and some of them twice! I have only recently gotten into early retirement blogs(after years of my husband devouring them) and yours is my favorite! My husband and I are retiring in March 2021- he will be 51 and I am 47. Actually, I have been telling everyone he is retiring and I am taking some time off to decide my next step. 😉 Haven’t figured out how to explain to people I am retiring in my 40’s yet! Oh the reactions we have gotten just starting to tell our immediate families (shock, confusion, some true happy wishes and my mother in law keeps sending my husband ideas on how he can still make money part-time so he doesn’t get bored/run out of money- lol). Anyways, enough gushing – I think these 5 steps are right on and right now I am trying to figure out #5 ( all financial aspects in check and ready!). Your book has helped me to at least start planning for finding my passion ( I have started some lists of ideas/projects/fitness plans) and I loved it so much I bought one for my brother who is 66 and not retired yet because he is worried about how to keep busy!! Keep the great info coming – it makes my day to see the notification in my email that a new article is available from “my friend Fritz” as you are referred to in our household ( my daughter just recently realized you were not actually a friend from work -lol)

    1. EVERY ARTICLE! Wow, Just as there are “5 Steps” to retirement, I think I can count all of the readers who have claimed to read every one of my articles on one hand! Your favorite!? I take that as a huge compliment from you, and appreciate your loyalty.

      Congratulations on reaching The Starting Line at such a young age, don’t worry about how the pundits respond, chances are they’re just jealous. Thanks for reading my book, glad to see it’s having an impact. I should have had your mother-in-law write a bit of Chapter 5, it seems. Smiles.

      Your friend,

      Fritz

  9. Fritz;
    What a wonderful post and SPOT ON with all of it. Retired almost 6 years and I am still using the pieces you put out there a while ago, like today looking again at your post on “How (&Why) To Execute a Before Tax Roll Over Into a Roth.” Your such a fantastic resource and you share so freely, thank you. As I have mentioned before I also really like reading the comments from others. I feel for “Tom” above and your and “Dale’s” comments were really on target and I couldn’t agree more. Tom – there is Sunshine and Rainbows on the other end of the Hurricane, ya just gota get through it.

    1. Kirk, thanks for your kind words, I can’t believe you’ve been retired 6 years! I still remember our chat when you decided on “One More Year”. Seems like yesterday. So much has changed, and it’s great to be loving life in the Sunshine and Rainbows after surviving the Hurricane. Thanks for your support on Tom’s comment, I think many of us can relate to what he’s feeling. (BTW, I may cite your Sunshine and Rainbows line when I get around to writing “Tom’s post”).

  10. Excellent post and past it on via LinkedIn. I’m still floundering on number 5 and struggle with the developing sustainable passions.
    Of course, taxes will always be the creative challenge.

    1. Thanks for sharing my work on LinkedIn, Francis. Much appreciated. And, for the record, number 5 is the hardest, so worry not that you find yourself struggling with it – just keep following that curiousity until it leads you where you’re meant to be.

      1. Apparently that curiosity keeps leading me back to where I started using my experience helping people make medicines in the biotech supply chain arena.
        Fortunately, my fingerprints are all over the vaccine development and manufacturing for the treatments that are in the headlines as well as the second gen therapies that are not far behind.

  11. Only 2 weeks to go until I walk out of the classroom forever!

    Funnily enough, it’s your step 5 that I find the easiest. I know that I’ll have no problem filling in my days. In a world with books, the internet, dogs, gardening, quilting materials, Netflix, friends and family, there’s always something to do. And, once covid isn’t an issue anymore and Australia’s borders open up, there are always new places to see.

    I’ll miss the fun of the actual classroom teaching, but all of the extra admin that they keep piling on teachers year after year is starting to suck the life out of the job, so it’s best I go while the kids still enjoy my classes and I still have a laugh with them. I don’t want to be “that teacher” who has gone past their ‘use-by’ date and is a bit on the nose…

    1. The Starting Line is finally here! You’re going to love life on this side of the line, FJ. I know it’s something you’ve been working towards for some time now, glad to hear you’ve focused on the important stuff in Step 5 (easy for a voracious reader like you, right!?). Glad you’re avoiding that nose bite, funny how you can just sense when it’s time to go. Good luck on the transition, looking forward to hearing how it goes for you.

  12. Fritz,

    Thanks for a great article. My wife and I are both retiring in April next year, at the age of 58. We are very excited, to say the least. I’m an engineer and have extensive spreadsheets with our current finances, budgets and a forecasting model that runs a Monte Carlo analysis to predict future possibilities. I’m very confident that we’ll be fine financially. Actually, I was certain that we could’ve comfortably retired when I was first eligible at age 56 (I’m a federal employee), but we put in an extra two years for added security.

    With our finances in good shape, we must now focus on #5 in your article. I have plenty of hobbies to keep me busy, including running, hiking, golfing, woodworking, home/auto maintenance and repair and traveling in our newly acquired RV. The one thing that really scares me is the socialization aspect (or lack thereof). Working from home during the last 8 months is really starting to get me down and I’m afraid retirement will be a continuation of “not seeing people”. Most of my hobbies are solitary in nature, so my challenge will be getting involved in some activities with others!

    Your blog articles are a great resource and I really enjoyed your book. Thanks for all you do!

    1. April will be here before you know it, enjoy the final sprint to The Starting Line. Glad to see another spreadsheet geek here, I don’t know how anyone could plan to retire without running the numbers. I, like you, played with a lot of spreadsheets as I was finalizing my retirement timing decision (I decided on One More Year, and have had no regrets with that decision – having that buffer brings peace of mind in retirement).

      Like you, I also got the numbers squared up before turning my full attention on #5. It was the best thing I did, glad to see you following the same course. I can appreciate how the working from home has made you question the socialization aspect, but fear not, this thing will be over soon and you’ll be building new “retirement networks” in no time. Thanks for your kind words about my work, and for taking me along on your journey.

  13. Fritz, did you ever have trouble with any of your friends not seeming very happy for your early retirement. I hate to think that they are jealous but it sure feels that way. Honestly, many of them did not put themselves in a position to retire at 57. These are my friends who I have had for 20 years. Several in the same profession. It’s very hurtful.
    I feel like I need to make some new friends but as an introvert that isn’t that easy.

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