6 signs you're not ready to retire and how to get ready

The calendar may be telling you it's time to retire, but other signs may signal you're not ready. Learn the signs and take steps to overcome obstacles.

  1. You don't have a financial plan. What will your expenses be in retirement? How much income will you have once paychecks stop? When should you begin claiming Social Security? How much can you safely withdraw from savings every year without running out of money?

    If you haven't addressed these questions, it's likely you haven't developed a financial plan, which is critical for a secure retirement. A good place to start is with our Retirement Savings Calculator.

  1. You haven't saved enough. A common guideline suggests you should have 8 to 10 times your salary saved to retire in your mid-60s. If you're far below that figure, working longer will help. Every year you remain on the job means one less year of retirement to finance and one more year to squirrel away money. 

    Uncle Sam allows catch-up contributions to tax-advantaged accounts for older workers. People age 50 and older can contribute an extra $1,000 for a total of $7,000 in an IRA in 2021. Workers in 457, 401, and 403(b) plans can save an additional $6,500 to their plans for a total of $26,000 in 2021. Some 457 and 403(b) plans also offer additional catch-up provisions.

    Read How to Close the Retirement Savings Gap to learn more ways to build a bigger nest egg.

    Get a personalized strategy — just for you. Connect with your MissionSquare Retirement Plans Specialist.

  1. You have too much debt. If you're struggling to keep up with bills now, it will be even more difficult to manage them when you no longer have a paycheck.

    While you're still working, set a goal to pay down debt until it's eliminated or at least reduced to a more comfortable level. Start with the most expensive debt, which is likely credit cards. See Tackle Debt with These Money-Smart Strategies for tips.

  1. You and your partner have different views of retirement. Couples' retirement dreams may not always be in sync. Couples should talk years in advance, if possible, about how they envision their post-career lives, what retirement goals and expectations they share, and how they'd be willing to compromise.

  1. You enjoy work. Despite its name, work offers many advantages other than a paycheck. Many people get satisfaction from work and like socially interacting with colleagues. So, if you enjoy your job, there's no reason to leave it just because you've reached retirement age. And even if you do leave work, you can continue your retirement savings and access to many free resources with MissionSquare Retirement.

  1. You have no plan on how to spend your free time. Beyond some trips or days on the golf course, what else do you want to do? If you plan to work part time or volunteer, for example, lay the groundwork before you retire to ensure you find the right fit.

Please note: The contents of this publication provided by MissionSquare Retirement is general information regarding your retirement benefits. It is not intended to provide you with or substitute for specific legal, tax, or investment advice. You may want to consult with your legal, tax, or investment advisor to review your own personal situation. Some of the products, services, or funds detailed in this publication may not be available in your plan. This document may contain information obtained from outside sources and it may reference external websites. While we believe this information to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its complete accuracy. In addition, rules and laws can change frequently.

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