What to do as retirement nears

Start preparing mentally for life without a job

Our jobs are often a big part of our identity, and as much as we daydream about the day we’re done, the truth is, many of us find ourselves at a loss about exactly what to do once we’ve retired.

You might think scheduling a daily round of golf is all the plan you’ll need, but retirement can last a long time, and financial planners and other retirement counselors say they find that most people eventually need a way to transfer the energy and passion they brought to work to other meaningful causes or projects.

A new hobby, volunteering, returning to school, even working part-time in a completely different field — you have an opportunity now to explore them all.

So, this is the final item on your checklist: Figure out what will really make you happiest in your retirement years, and start preparing. You’ve earned the right to make those plans.