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On websites, FAQs are "Frequently Asked Questions." They are the inquiries that occur often enough to be predictable. The questions are followed by short, to-the-point answers that sometimes actually answers the questions. Here are my versions of FAQs for retirement advice.

How much money do I need to retire? Enough to live comfortably and handle most emergencies. You will probably end up needing more than you think. If you live in Scottsdale, La Jolla, or West Palm Beach, California, then a lot more. Don't believe all the "rules" about how much you have to save or how little you can withdraw each year and not risk running out of money. Life is a constant adjustment to situations. No one can predict what the future will be like or how you will want to live. Stay flexible.

Won't I become bored? Maybe. But, don't you become bored now? Boredom is easily solved. Find something interesting to occupy your mind and time. Retirement is all about trying on a new you. If you become bored it is because you aren't looking hard enough for alternatives.

How do I fill all that time? You will be amazed at how quickly all that time fills up. Your real problem will be finding enough time to do all you want to do. Learning to manage the only resource you have that can never be replaced is a skill that will, in large part, determine how satisfying your retirement becomes.

My spouse doesn't want me around the house all day...what do I do? Go somewhere else for a while. Take long walks, go to the library, volunteer a few times a week. Do things around the house that make him or her want you around. Part of the time, do what your spouse wants to do. Part of the time, do what you want to do. The rest of the time do things together.

Can I spend all day in sweats? Sure. But, a word of advice...don't. There is no need to dress up as if you are still going to work. However, lounging around all day in a bathrobe or an old sweatshirt will affect your energy and desire to make something of the day. Develop a morning routine that includes dressing well enough to leave the house, even if you don't plan to. It really does make a difference.

Can I unretire? Absolutely. That is one of the best parts of retirement, there are no firm rules. In fact you can retire, unretire, and retire again as many times as you want. Maybe you'll find that financially you could use the extra income. Maybe you like interacting with different people each day and miss the stimulation of an office or factory floor. A part time job may be perfect for you. What if you've always wanted to have your own business or turn a hobby into income? No problem. Retirement is as much about attitude and freedom as it is about your state of employment.

What will happen to my health and health insurance? If I had the answer to that I, wouldn't be writing FAQs.

Did I miss a FAQ you want answered? Comment away!
 

Bob Lowry

Bob Lowry was a management consultant to hundreds of radio stations before retiring in 2001. 

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