The “Big Decision” phase is the second part of the MIT AgeLab’s four phases of retirement. This phase is characterized by having more free time to pursue things you are passionate about. However, you will now have to choose how to spend your time most effectively. Here are three “Big Decisions” to consider:
Where do I want to live?
During this phase of retirement, relocating or downsizing may be appealing. In fact, in a survey conducted by The Demand Institute, 37% of Baby Boomers say that they plan to move from their current home. There are many factors to consider when moving: proximity to family, the cost and/or effort it takes to maintain your home, or even the climate. If being around family is a priority, taking extended vacations or renting in warmer weather for a few months may be an attractive alternative to relocating to a different state.
Wherever you live it is important to consider the accessibility of medical care and reviewing long-term care options as that is an essential part of the “Longevity” phase, which comes next.
Whom would I like to spend time with?
As you have more free time, so may your friends and former co-workers. This is a great time to build deeper relationships with friends or renew social connections. Depending whom to spend time with depends on how you would like to spend your time. Spend time with people with common interests. Keep in mind that you may have multiple social circles, such as people you travel with or volunteer with. You may have a desire to help care for grandchildren, which will deepen your relationship with family members.
Where is my money coming from?
In retirement, you will likely have multiple income sources. This can be vastly different from your earning years, where you were used to earning a paycheck. You may have to decide on pension annuitization options, when to enroll in Social Security and when to take withdrawals from retirement accounts. It is also time to take inventory of your insurance. Is there a life insurance policy that you may want to convert to an annuity or policy dividends that you would like to start receiving as income?
The Big Decision Phase can be overwhelming, but the good news is that you don’t have to make these decisions alone. Contact us to set up a phone call or meeting to discuss life’s transitions.
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