Last Two Weeks Before Retirement: The Ultimate Guide

Your last two weeks before retirement are here. Congratulations. You’ve made it! But now you probably wonder what to do in the last two weeks before retirement? Well, I’ve written the ultimate guide with everything you to know and do before you officially retire in two weeks. So let’s start unpacking right away!

Make A Checklist With Things To Do

When your retirement date is coming closer you enter a new chapter in your life that is so exciting. And although you’re entering a phase with lots of freedom and few obligations. The last few weeks before retirement can be a bit hectic. That is why making a checklist can be a good idea to keep your head clear and make it as fun as possible.

Have Fun The Last Days At Work

Why not have a little bit more fun? Nobody is going to fire you because you are gone in two weeks’ time.

And here are some fun ideas: do the ultimate prank on your coworkers, spend more time chatting at the coffee machine, add humor and positivity to all your conversations and meetings, and treat yourself (and others) to nice gourmet lunches. Or make a round call to all your old contacts, clients, and coworkers to share your most cherished memories and express your gratitude and feelings. I share more fun ideas in this article: 21 Seriously Funny Ways To Announce Your Retirement.

Whatever rocks your boat, but do it gracefully. Burning bridges is not a good way to spend your last two weeks at work.

Plan Your Retirement Celebration

If you haven’t already: plan your retirement celebration. After working hard for so long, you deserve a moment to celebrate this lifetime achievement. And besides a retirement party, there are many other ways in which you can celebrate your retirement. For example, a romantic date with your spouse, a family weekend trip, going to a festival, or just a small family brunch at home.

Read more: 30 Awesome Ideas To Celebrate Your Retirement

Write A Handbook For A Smooth Work Transfer

Your boss and your future replacement will be very happy with a handbook of all the information you know about your job tasks. For example future deadlines, and where to find files, passwords, and information on clients and projects. This handbook can be a helpful guide for the first couple of months. They’re going to love it that you wrote everything down to help them even when you’re not there anymore. It will make the transfer a lot smoother for everyone involved.

And if a handbook is not possible, you can perhaps offer your assistance in a different way. For example: say that they can call you when they have questions, you come over one morning a week for the first few weeks to answer questions or you can offer to be a freelance consultant and earn an extra paycheck in retirement. Your years of experience and expertise can be very valuable.

Organize Your Goodbye

There comes a point when you need to say goodbye to your boss, coworkers, clients, etc. Besides the “bye, I’m out!” on your last day, there are other ways to handle this in a fun and appreciative way. Leaving on a high and positive note sets the tone for a positive start to your retirement.

Perhaps there is a retirement party planned that you want to give a speech or show a (fun) video. Or you want to thank a couple of coworkers in a meeting with a special gift. For more information on this topic, I recommend reading my article: How To Thank Your Coworkers When You Retire: 11 Fun Ideas.

Set The First Goal For Your Retirement

Retirement is a time of uncertainty. For some, this gives them an exciting feeling. Others feel more anxiety. And there is a big group that feels all the emotions, which is very normal. New adventures come with a mix of emotions. And it depends on your mental state in how you’ll handle it. But there is a way that will help everyone out.

Having something to retire to is important for a happy start to your retirement. That is why setting the first goal for your retirement is essential. A goal instantly gives you a direction, a purpose, and a reason to get up on the first Monday in retirement.

For example, a first goal can be ticking off one item on your bucket list, applying for that part-time job you love, running (half) a marathon, learn how to cook gourmet meals.

Plan Activities For The First Weeks

Having something to look forward to makes your goodbye at work easier. Knowing you have planned fun lunches or dinner with friends and perhaps hobby-related activities makes the transition into retirement more smooth. And you can use these last two weeks to schedule fun activities that make you excited about your retirement.

The success of retirement is replacing your working hours with meaningful and fun activities that keep you mentally, socially, and physically active. This combination is key to a happy, healthy, and long retirement. And that is why planning a couple of fun things for the first weeks, while also keeping your agenda free for spontaneous events and relaxing time is a good idea.

Read more: 30 Things To Do On Your First Day Of Retirement

Start A New (healthy) Routine

One of the best tips I can give for these last two weeks at work is to start with a new healthy (morning) routine. Because having a positive daily routine sets the tone for the rest of the day. And starting this routine now gives you a head start and makes your transition easier into retirement. You can keep continuing this routine in your days of retirement, and it doesn’t feel like a new thing. Only you can do it a lot more slowly to get adjusted to a more relaxing rhythm of the day. You can read more about this in my article: How To Structure Your Retirement Day: 15 Tips.

Be Aware Of The Retirement Process

For some people, retirement is a major transition. Going from fully packed days to an empty agenda having no obligation can be overwhelming. For others, it is easier, but everyone is going through the same stages of retirement. Some more quickly than others.

Being aware of the stages of retirement and knowing that retiring is a process that takes time to adjust, makes you a lot more prepared than most people. And also helps you to avoid depression, which unfortunately a lot of retirees suffer from.

In retirement, you need to let go of the identity that came with the job. And discover your new identity, likes, dislikes, your new life purpose, and be satisfied with new activities, etc.

Read more: Complete Guide Through The Five Stages Of Retirement

Stay On Top Of Your Finances

A couple of months/ years ago you’ve come to the decision (or it was made for you) to retire. And in that phase, you’ve already checked your financial situation. At least that is what I hope.

Since then a couple of months have passed, so that is why it can be wise to inform yourself about your finances again to refresh your mind and get informed about recent changes. This will lead to less stress and more clarity. A perfect start to your retirement.

Financial To-Do List:

  • Plan a meeting with your financial planner to decide on your payments/ moving to IRA?
  • Plan a meeting with HR for the latest news on your healthcare, COBRA costs, ACA costs (healthcare.gov), and transition to medicare
  • Check your retirement savings and retirement accounts
  • Check if you need extra insurance (things that are not covered anymore once you retire)
  • Make a list of all your expenses and set a monthly budget for your first year in retirement. This keeps you more in control of your finances.
  • If you haven’t already. Apply for social security benefits. Or get informed when you want to apply at a later time.

Find A New Hobby

Nothing to do at work anymore? You can use this time to find yourself a new hobby you can explore in the first weeks of retirement. Having something fun to do gives you more satisfaction in retirement.

You can search the internet for fun hobbies and make appointments for workshops, classes, etc, for your days in retirement.

If you don’t know where to look for that new retirement hobby, don’t worry. Read my article: How To Find A Hobby That You’ll Love: 9 Tips

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my husband Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. In the last couple of years, I wrote over 200+ articles about retirement and did extensive research to help people prepare, enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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