Quiz: How Ready for Retirement Are You?

Category: General Retirement Issues

Editor’s note: Since we developed this one we have added another Quiz, Part 2. It is more financially oriented than this one. Take it and see how you do!

Revised April 6, 2013 — So you are getting ready to retire – either very soon or in the distant future. It’s good that you are thinking about it now, because planning equals success when it comes to retirement. Find out how ready you are with this short quiz. Take it now and get your score at the end.

A few tips about this quiz: Keep track of your “Yes” and “No” answers as you go along (or print it out and write down your answers). We have provided links both within the quiz and at the end for more information about specific parts of the quiz. Good luck!

Finances – Will you be able to live on your pension, social security, and accumulated retirement savings? (See our article, “Will we have enough money in retirement?”)
1. Have you done a projection of your retirement income and expenses?

2. Have you considered what you could add or cut to balance your retirement income and spending?
3. Have you paid down your mortgage, or have a plan to do so?
4. Is credit card debt retired?
5. Rebalanced investment profile/portfolio changed to match your new situation?
6. Have a qualified financial advisor or spent time doing your own financial research?
7. Have you looked at or revised your will in the last 5 years?
8. If your finances aren’t up to snuff, have you thought about what kind of work you would like to do to maintain your lifestyle? (answer Y if your finances are in order)

Location – Do you know where you want to live in retirement? (See article, “9 Things Betty and Jim learned when looking for their perfect retirement spot“.
9. Have you and your significant other discussed where you want to live, considering climate, things you like to do, etc. If single, have you written down your thoughts?
10. Have you agreed on or decided upon that location?
11. Have you figured out if living near your children or grandchildren is important to you, or will it be convenient to visit them from where you will live? If single or childless, will you be near relatives or friends that are important to you?
12. Is your retirement location compatible with your financial situation (have you thought about low-tax or lower cost locales)?
13. Have you thought about where you should be living in late retirement (e.g.; when you are in your 80’s), if you are lucky enough to live that long?

Lifestyle – Are you prepared for what is going to be a major adjustment. See this article: “What are you going to do now that you are retired“?)
14. Have you thought about what you are going to do the day you retire?
15. How about what you will do every day, 2 years after your retirement?
16. Do you have a hobby or sport to keep you busy?
17. Have you discussed your new day to day activities and how they might interact with with those of your significant other? (If single, give yourself a Yes for this question).
18. Will you continue to work after retirement, or have some other activity to keep you busy?
19. Have you thought about volunteering or ways to keep your mind sharp?
20. Have you developed a living will, Advanced Health Care Directive, or durable power of attorney?

Obviously these aren’t the only questions you should be asking about retirement preparation. Some will be more important to your retirement happiness than others. But it will give you a good start. We encourage you to work on these questions and develop more as your retirement draws near.

Scorecard: How well are you prepared
16 or more Yes answers – Very Well prepared – good job!
12 – 15 Yes answers – You’ve done a lot of work, but more to do
8 – 11 Yes answers – Keep at it, you can be ready
Less than 8 – Yikes – you better get busy if you want to enjoy retirement!

For Further Reference
How Ready Are You Quiz – Part 2
Lunch (Again!) with Mr. Topretirements“!
Best Retirement Places for Singles
The Opportunity for Volunteerism in Retirement
Where is the Best Place to Retire?

What do you think? Please share your reactions to this quiz, including questions that should be added. Note, this quiz is a minor adaptation of the quiz in our Tips and Picks section.

Posted by John Brady on April 11th, 2011


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  5. Good basic quiz. The question on paying down mortgages is a bit misleading. If you have an after tax borrowing rate lower than your after tax earnings rate you should not pay your mortgage down from a financial point. However if debt free gives you peace of mind then by all means pay down. Thanks

    by Brian paluch — March 21, 2015

  6. I did great on the financial Part 1 Quiz, but bombed all of the Location and most of the Lifestyle questions. That’s why I read everyone else’s postings for ideas every day! I have 2 years or so to retirement, and I will need every day for planning. I consider it an accomplishment that I’ve gotten my list down to about 10-12 possible locations.

    by Sharon — March 22, 2015

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