While reading this month's issue of Money magazine I saw an idea I've seen several times lately. Their words:
"[Try] living on [your] projected retirement income as a test run of the real thing."
Specifically, they are suggest that people determine their expected retirement income, then, before they quit working, live on that income for a year. If everything "works", then you're good to go. But if not, if you simply can't make it on what you will earn post-career, you still have options (namely, you can work longer.) Once you get off the career track, it may be difficult to get back on, hence the reason for a test before you get off.
I like this idea. A lot. It gives potential retirees a real feel of what it's like to live on what will likely be a reduced income -- perhaps an income that is significantly lower than any they've had for many, many years. It's something I think I'll do when I get to that point.
I've also heard that people should test retirement from a time standpoint as well. They should try to take extended vacations and see how (even if) they can fill the time. After all, if you don't have to go to work every day, what will you do? You can only play so many rounds of golf. Again, I think this is a great idea. And why not try it?
How about you? Did any retirees out there do a test run before you quit working? Or those who are planning to retire soon, will you do a test run?