From our Life After Teaching Survey, when asked what advice they would offer to other educators contemplating retirement, here is a small sample of their replies.
Lifestyle planning is very important. Attend as many retirement seminars as you can until you have a full understanding of the process and of your options.
Plan Plan Plan what you are going to do, don't worry about the money worry about what you'll do.
Have something planned to occupy your time after retirement. Start that activity BEFORE you retire.
Get the whole picture. Finances are essential but you may need to replace the "life" you had in education for all those years.
If you are doing something you love, also have plans of what to do with your time. One can only do so much fishing, traveling, eating out, etc. The feeling of accomplishment may be missing. Plan, plan, plan!
Plan carefully to have “something to do” each day so that one doesn’t have time on their hands and wonder what to do with it. Staying active is the best way to stay “young”.
Plan how you are going to fashion your new life. What interests will you pursue? How will you restructure your social life, your leisure time? Don’t rush into anything. Think it through. Expect to find your focus changing as you mature. Project what you want to see or be in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years. Expect to feel a little lost and unsure of yourself. It takes at least a year, and often two, to settle in to the new lifestyle. No school opening in September takes getting used to!
Become psychologically prepared. Know yourself and what you need to have and do in order to live a satisfying life on your terms. Take workshops, do extensive reading and have peer discussions on topics like coping with change, redefining yourself in terms of skills and how they can be “recycled” in retirement. Eliminate non challenging demands. Plan on a five year program. Set your wants after considering your NEEDS. Will your finances support your desires. Will you have the time and health to complete your plans?
Have a plan. Not an approved plan or someone else's idea of a plan; just know what you intend to look for.
Plan ahead and have other things going on in your life than teaching. Plan to have some social get-together's with former staff. More time for your outside interests and family are great!!! Retire when you can maintain your financial status – every night is Friday night and every morning is Saturday morning! Certainly retire at 60 or before – if you can.
Plan to do something that you enjoy and to continue to be involved in the community. Make sure you have a reason to get up and moving each day.