Making the decision that it is time to retire (rather than being pushed screaming out the door) is never an easy one, particularly as I have always believed that it is better to retire too early than to retire too late. However, with today’s economic pressures many sexagenarians are hanging on in full-time employment for as long as they can, hoping that no one notices the creeping memory loss and the growing frequency of visits to the bathroom.

So how do you recognise the signs that should strongly suggest to you that it is time to ride off into the sunset with the handshake and the gold watch ?

If you have encountered more than half of these then you have in all likelihood already stayed too long.

1. Your company does not renew your key-man insurance.

2. You have stopped bothering to update your Linkedin profile and experience.

3. You have started calculating the effort that would be needed to get down to a single digit golf handicap.

4. You have started to take the succession planning process more seriously than you ever have in the past.

5. You got excited when you realised that you could get your senior’s card and ride free on the busses, even if you have not actually been on a bus in over 30 years.

6. You have been trying to convince the IT Department that a “delete all” key is needed for the company email system.

7. A plaque with your name has been added to one of the bathroom stalls which has now also had a magazine rack installed.

8. Your optometrist has suggested that you should consider switching to bifocals.

Author: Anatom5; Source: Icon Archive; via Wikimedia Commons

9. You have begun thinking about whether you would look good with a beard and maybe even a pony-tail or ear stud.

10. You start to think that “Sansabelt” trousers sound really comfortable.

11. You realise that your spouse has stopped worrying about you flirting with young women.

12. People have started to stand up to offer you their seat even in the geriatrician’s rooms.

13. You switch from a car with some “Vroom” to a 4-WD or Volvo for the safety aspects, or even worse to a Clio to make parking easier.

14. You feel that you have so much to tell and to share that you should definitely start a blog.

15. You can’t understand why you accumulated so many different styles of cufflinks.

16. You have set up the perfect home office rather than the sub-standard one provided to you at your place of work.

Author: MarkAHershberger; via Wikimedia Commons

17. You have given away the majority of your ties for a charity auction.

18. You have started to attend more funerals than weddings.

19. When no-one asks you for proof of age when you claim a senior’s discount at an art gallery.

20. When you use up all your leave days due, which have accumulated over the last 40 years.

21. You have tried to convince your boss that you would be more productive if you worked at least one day from home.

22. When you are home, you start doing skype video calls dressed only from the waist up.

23. You have stopped your annual excursion to buy business suits and shirts.

24. You have started to complain about airline service, airport security and that the glamour has gone out of air travel, but the cabin crew all know you by name.

25. You have given up trimming your nose and ear hairs.

The reality is that when it comes to retirement we need look no further than at the world of dogs. Some dogs are bred to lie around the house all day quite content in their indolence, with only an occasional burst of activity to satisfy the needs of either their front or back ends. Some dogs are bred to be working dogs and cannot cope with the idea of doing nothing. Doing nothing frustrates them, makes them cranky and affects their mental state so that they become destructive in the home and start to soil themselves and their environment. It is really important that when you plan your retirement you have a really good understanding of where you fit.

Author: William01; via Wikimedia Commons



  1. Frank says:

    Les, Ouch! some of those hurt, haha..

    Add another one, “when you take a couple of your credit cards from your wallet to make room for your Medicare and Private Health cover cards”! (as I did a few years ago..haha).
    Regards, Frank

    • leshayman says:

      Frank, you only need to worry when the card in the wallet is the one that says “If found wandering in the streets please return this person to the address below”. Les

  2. John says:

    Good to see your humour. I liked the analogy at the end with dogs. Much wisdom in that and, perhaps the sentiment in your recent blog about first understanding yourself (I forget the words you used), holds true in leadership, retirement, and fulfillment in many arenas.

  3. Paul says:

    Oh. My God.

    I’m going to get my hair cut and cancelling my ear-piercing appointment!

  4. F says:

    Hi Les, You are a dog pointing out our weakness, but right on. Gday Mate, Frank Lennon

  5. Ian Grant-Smith says:

    thank goodness I don’t have long hairs growing out of my ears and nose yet – LOL
    Great post !

    • leshayman says:

      Ian, it’s just a question of time. Nature drives balance, and as the hair on your head diminishes it will balance it by increasing the amount of hair everywhere else. Les

  6. Jen Roach says:

    Les, love the dog analogy and definitely need a woman’s version of this: a couple I can think of is……starting to colour the gray hair more frequently, finding that there is nothing new under the sun in people’s behaviour, wearing high heels at work even when your feet hurt to stay fashionable rather than frumpy etc…

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