Prepare for early retirement to avoid distress in case of surprises

A good plan for early retirement guarantees a stress-free life after quitting employment. FILE
A good plan for early retirement guarantees a stress-free life after quitting employment. FILE 

The second session of the vetting exercise of police officers has kicked off in earnest. Listening to the numerous questions posed by the panellists during the sessions, it is evident that the exercise is thorough and full of gravity.

With thousands of officers yet to undergo the vetting, the number of those who would prefer early retirement to facing the panel will grow to a significant figure. However, this may pose a potential risk even to the police force.

Taking early retirement is not a bad idea. However, the problem here is that up to this point many officers may not have thought about or plan to retire early. The package may sound good, but it takes time to adjust to the idea of sudden, early retirement.

The thought of early retirement is something that many employees also grapple with. But in most cases, the decision to take early retirement is not well thought out.

Whether you are a police officer who is yet to meet the charged panel or a staff who is weary of work related stress, before you face your employer with a decision to take an early retirement, ask yourself an equally challenging question — one that’s often overlooked — are you psychologically and financially ready to retire early?

Early retirement is not as simple as it may appear to many. Not only does it have the financial implication but also the emotional or psychological component in it. These two factors have to be considered in tow. Reasons?

It is certain that you may be financially prepared but not emotionally ready for early retirement. This too causes some stress during transition from a structured lifestyle of reporting to work to unstructured one with no strict schedules.

Somewhat, many often have the feeling of being on leave or vacation during early period of retirement. After time lapses, the new lifestyle becomes painful and regrettable.

Conversely, you may be emotionally prepared but not financially ready for early retirement. This perhaps is where most officers opting for early retirement may fall. This again is no better.

The challenge is that one needs to be financially prepared since you will be financing a longer retirement period beyond the normal one.  This will ultimately cause you emotional stress as you think of how to safeguard your retirement nest from the risk outliving your pension income.

But how do you ascertain that you are financially and emotionally ready to take early retirement?

Regardless of the situation that surrounds your choice for early retirement, below are some of the few things you can consider as you deliberate and make your preparation to retire early.

First, the choice for early retirement does not mean that you retire from work but instead you move on to do something else. This will help you both financially and emotionally.

Therefore, to ensure that you are in good financial shape, retire to something else be in a business venture that will generate you some additional income to bridge the deficit.

Getting something or a venture that does not only generate you income but also keeps you engaged is imperative as it will help you in the psychological transition into full retirement as well as help one to meeting financial obligations such as paying unsettled debts and support dependants.

Where this idea may not be viable, instead of asking for early retirement, request for semi-retirement in which you work part time or for some few months of the year as you make psychological transition into full retirement.

Therefore, it is advisable for every employee to prepare for early retirement regardless of age. Remember that retiring early does not mean one is tired.

Mr Opiyo is a training manager & coach with Tolerance Employee Financial Advisors Ltd. [email protected]