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How to Know Whether You’re Really Ready to Retire

As you’re painstakingly crossing out calendar days at work, you’re pretty positive you’re ready to retire — mentally at least. But knowing when to give in to temptation depends on how responsibly you approach retirement. It can be easy to lose sight of certain retirement responsibilities. Retire too soon, and you could be in for a rough next 20 years. Retire too late, and you’ve wasted thousands of dollars and hours that could’ve been spent elsewhere.

Just 18% of Americans feel very confident about their retirement finances, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. But after years of careful saving, we would hope we’d feel secure about the future beyond work.

When you finally take the plunge, you must be sure you’re ready for this new stage of life. Being ready for retirement is not always about money, though it is usually the most influential factor. Retirement brings a lifestyle change that challenges both your financial stability and your most meaningful relationships. So how can you prove you’re ready to make the transition? Here are a few signs that suggest you’re well on your way to leisure.

1. Your kids are self-sufficient

female passenger on smartphone at gate waiting in terminal

female passenger on smartphone at gate waiting in terminal Self-sufficient children will help you prepare for retirement. | iStock.com/VladTeodor

Almost 40% of young adults lived with their parents or other relatives in 2015. If you’re one of the lucky American families with a child who has permanently flown the coup, you might be well on your way to a responsible retirement.

Boomerang kids, or those who return to live at home after college, can ruin your chances of retirement because parents are likely to financially support them. Before any retirement plans are made, make sure you are an official empty nester and your kids are self-sufficient. This ensures you can focus on your own needs during this time of transition.

Next: It’s not just your children to account for in retirement. It’s everyone else.

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