Is it time to stop working?


By Neil Offen

As we get older, many of us start thinking of the possibility of retirement, mainly when the alarm clock goes off or when we’ve got a series of work emails where everyone has hit reply all. But as you formulate your retirement plan, you must consider some important questions first.

Exactly when can you retire? Before the alarm clock goes off or after we change to daylight savings time when the alarm clock will go off an hour earlier?

When should you begin saving for retirement? Is it already too late? What difference would it make if you booked a round-trip business class to Cabo San Lucas?

How much money should you save? And how much is enough, particularly if you’ve always been a profligate spendthrift and now have that title on your LinkedIn profile and officially embossed on your business card?

When should you begin to think about downsizing? Will that mean having to empty the attic and get rid of all those bags of bubble wrap you saved for the day when you might need all those bags of bubble wrap?

Should you retire early or wait until you can barely walk to the kitchen to get a can of seltzer? How do you want to spend your retirement years? Would you like to travel all over the world or just get Wordle on the first guess?

Do you need a retirement hobby (and no, snoring doesn’t count?)? Would you consider introductory neurosurgery?

If you retire and then have more time, do you ever intend to clean up the garage?

When should you take your Social Security payment and what about those Social Security forms—black pen or blue pen?

What if Social Security is no longer around when you retire and you can’t find it anywhere and think you may have left it in the restroom at the movie theater when you finally went to the movie theater to see “Barbie”?

Is the Required Minimum Distribution the name of a cult band that plays electronic dance music?

Should you buy a condo in Florida? If so, which coast? Or should you just wait for more sea-level rise when there will only be one coast?

Should you consider moving closer to the kids, even if they now live in Cleveland?

Especially if they live in Cleveland?

Should you relocate to a retirement community where you will constantly be reassured that the world is filled with other people who have never heard of Billie Eilish?

These are questions many of us wrestle with as we approach our golden years, particularly if we haven’t managed to buy any gold.

Carrboro resident Neil Offen has been a humor columnist for four decades and in two countries. He is the author of the forthcoming book, “Building a Better Boomer.” His column appears twice monthly in The Local Reporter.

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