How Will You Know When It’s Time to Go?

By Alan Spector

You sit at your desk, stand in front of your class,
See clients all day, design landscapes, lead Mass,
Run the company you founded, sell stocks and bonds,
Help people with taxes, do morning rounds.

You’re a corporate exec, approve housing loans,
Construct buildings, fly airplanes, clean teeth, sell phones,
Keep the peace, fight fires, fix dented cars,
Cater parties, wait tables, play baseball, tend bar.

You dispense medication, grow fields of grain
Operate a lathe, printing press, or crane.
Barister, barrista, balarina, banker,
Design interiors, captain a tanker.

Your whole adult life, you’ve worked hard and deserve
A retirement that doesn’t throw you a curve.
A few of your friends are leading the way,
But what’s right for you-when is your day?

You fret and you wonder;
You worry and ponder.
How will you know
When it’s time to go?

There’s a way to consider
When the time will be right
To start your transition,
To retire, take flight.

Ask yourself these four questions.
When all answers are “Yes,”
You’ll be ready to retire
With minimal stress.

Will I have enough?
That’s question one.
If your answer is “Yes,”
Check it off, you’re done.

Will I have enough to do?
That’s question two.
A life full and fulfilling with
Some things old and some new.

Have I had enough?
That’s question three.
The answer is “Yes,”
If you long to be free.

Will someone want me around 24×7?
That’s question four.
If the answer is “No,”
There’s trouble in store.

How will you know
When it’s time to go?
Are the four answers “Yes?”
Wait not one second more.

Alan Spector

Alan Spector

Alan Spector is the coauthor, along with Keith Lawrence, of the book, Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement. Alan and Keith conduct workshops around the country, helping Baby Boomers plan for the nonfinancial aspects of retirement. Since retiring from a successful 33-year executive career with the Procter & Gamble Company, Alan has been a founding partner of three businesses, the author of five books, and deeply involved with social service organizations, community initiatives to reduce violence, and education programming. He is a management consultant, baseball player, nonprofit Board member, frequent traveler, speaker, blogger, and most importantly, the active and proud grandfather of four. Alan lives in St. Louis with his wife, Ann.

Alan’s fifth book, Body Not Recovered, has been named as a “Hot New Release” on Amazon. Learn more about Your Retirement Quest at, and learn more about Alan.


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