Many things in life can come as a surprise (or shock)…but Retirement can’t come as a surprise. Just can’t. The day you get an appointment letter, you know your date of retirement – immaterial of how many jobs you change! So what are the important steps that you should be taking say 1, 2 or 3 years before you retire? Here is a list – let me warn you it could be more than 12…!!

  1. Read checklist Manifesto – and start making your checklists. Shifting to a different location, buying a new house, selling off the furniture in the big house, upgrading your laptop, downgrading your car,……whatever the items. Make the checklist.
  2. Get all your numbers right – PF accumulation, health insurance, pension (if any from the company), documents, – some of these can take time. So 12 months is a good time to start to work on these things. Make sure you do not harp on this too much or your colleagues will get bored! However, it helps your organisation to know what your plans are too.
  3. See if your company has some plans for you – say a 10 hour a week engagement or something like that. Remember you will not have your seniority, status, etc. and you have to provide for that.
  4. Tell your wife that once you Retire, she will have more Husband and less Money! Make sure that your retirement does not bother her plans, so discussing what you are going to do with your new found asset – “Time” is very important.
  5. Get your investments right, update your will, and sit down with your spouse (and children, if you think appropriate) and discuss the “withdrawal” plans with your financial adviser. Again, if you can put it in writing or video it will help your family. A video will (apart from a written one) can also be useful – but hey it may not have any legal standing.
  6. Shift all your files, papers etc from your office laptop to the ‘home’ laptop. Ok, don’t have one? buy it.
  7. See how to shift your investments to 4 or 5 buckets of investments. You 3/5 years expenses should be in liquid/ ultra-short bond fund. Money required beyond this could be in equity funds/ real estate/ direct equity shares. You do not have to do it now, but you could start planning the route.
  8. Organize meets with cousins, classmates, friends – outside social circles are more important than office colleagues as friends.
  9. See what toys you need – cell phones, laptop, car,….start planning.
  10. Get your loans in place – paying them off maybe best, but do what is appropriate.
  11. Start saying your goodbyes – to your colleagues, mentees, friends – with family if appropriate. You may have to travel to say some goodbyes.

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