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How to Determine if You're Ready to Retire

I’m Mentally Ready to Retire - How do I Know if I’m Financially Ready?

An interview with Charles Ragonese

Charles meets with clients

In this interview, I asked Charles Ragonese, President of Mountain Peak Financial, Inc., to explain the process he goes through with each new client who comes to him wanting to find out if they are financially ready to retire. Charles explains the steps involved in coming to a conclusion, and other factors that might ultimately impact a pre-retiree’s decision.


N: Let me start by asking, how difficult of a task is it to determine if a person is ready financially to retire?

C: Determining retirement readiness can seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be – especially if you’re working with an advisor who will guide you through all the numbers. The hardest part for my clients seems to be what happens before our meeting – they’ll often need to take the time to gather paperwork and ask their employers certain questions about their pension if they have one, things like that. Preparing for the meeting where we’ll actually talk about whether or not they can retire is probably the hardest part. Once I have all their necessary information, I analyze the data and do the calculations and strategizing to make sure they’ll have income for as long as they need it. And again, if you’re already working with an advisor, they should be able to guide through the process.

N: Once the client has acquired all the necessary information, paperwork, etc., how do you start figuring out if they can retire?

C: The first step is for me is to gather information. I’ll look at everything they brought to our meeting and ask them detailed questions so as to be certain we are on the same page and I’m not missing anything important. I’ll ask them about their family, their careers, and any types of savings accounts they might have, such as pensions, personal investment accounts, insurance accounts, and so on. So, the first step is to understand their current financial situation and see what they already have to work with, and also to understand their financial goals for this next chapter of their lives.