NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Can’t wait to retire? It might be a good idea to give it a go, at least temporarily -- a retirement rehearsal. Dee Lee, a Boston-based financial educator, says you may learn a few things about yourself, including your financial and emotional ability to transition to life after work.
Most financial advisors can cover the basics: having a retirement income equal to about 80% of your working wages, a suitable spending strategy -- even a plan on how and when to draw Social Security benefits. But rather than taking a hard reboot into retirement, Lee suggests a short-term simulation.
"Live like you would in retirement,” she tells TheStreet. “Take off two months, if you can. Use your vacation, use your sick time -- whatever it is. And do what you would do in retirement. But, the key is: using the same amount of income that you would have. Can you live on that?"
Lee says that means paying all the bills: utilities, mortgage payments, gas and transportation -- as well as groceries and the fun stuff, like movies and dinners out. "And no cheating," she adds. If in your retirement budget you can't afford it, you can't buy it during your retirement test drive.
"That's what a dress rehearsal does. It's going to give you a really quick and dirty idea of whether or not you want to retire and if you can afford to retire."