Scoring Guide

Below is the scoring guide for the Your Next 30 Years / Retirement Readiness Quiz — the questions, the answers, how the answers are weighted, and an explanation of each of one.
        This is not intended to be the definitive look at your readiness for retirement and you may not agree with some of my assessments. But if this got you to think more deeply about this next phase in your life, and maybe even commit to new actions or mindsets, then that’s a total win — for both of us!

1. How do you feel about retirement?

I can’t wait! (3 points)
You’ve probably done some preparations, but your excitement could blind you to other changes coming your way.

I can’t retire.  (1 point)
You probably feel trapped and that’s unfortunate. There are things you can do to exert some control, and perhaps even some fun into your life, but for now, yeah, this sucks.

I feel a mix of excitement and dread.  (3 points)
Going into this with an open and realistic mind is important. It doesn’t mean you have answers yet, but you’re prepared.

I’m not interested in a typical retirement.  (5 points)
The sense of conviction in this answer suggests being open to reinventing yourself, perhaps more than once.

2. When do you intend to retire?

It’s coming soon. (3 points)
This could go either way — you’ve ready for what’s to come or, oh hell, it’s time to get serious about this. Either way, there’s not much time left to course correct.

In the next 3-5 years.  (5 points)
By having a relative schedule, it shows you’ve been thinking about this, with ample time left to get into fine details (unless you’ve done no financial planning).

I have no idea.  (1 point)
This could be because you’ve been so engrossed in your work or because you haven’t planned sufficiently — or that you’re 40 and just starting to really focus on this.

I’m not going to retire.  (3 points)
It’s good that you’ve got conviction and perhaps some momentum, but you may have a very different attitude in 10 years or so. Ergo, giving some attention to future activities is useful.

I can’t.  (1 point)
I hear you. Let’s look at what you *can* create.

3. What plans do you have for this new phase in your life?

I have a long list of projects and activities I want to tackle.  (3 points)
That’s great. Having things to look forward to is important. But if the timelines on your plans are short (a couple of months or less), you may run out of things to inspire you. Be on the lookout for things that can have multi-year arcs.

No major plans, except to sleep in and see what tomorrow brings.  (1 point)
This can be great for a year or two, but it’s not a solid strategy for 30 years or more. You will get bored.

I want to keep doing *something*, whether or not it’s called “work.”  (5 points)
Great. Keep that sense of purpose locked in.

I have some ideas of things to do, but a plan is not fully formed yet.  (3 points)
Great start. Keep exploring these ideas, and see what other things might spark your curiosity.

4. How’s your health?

It’s okay, I think.  (3 points)
That counts for something, though not being sure puts you at risk. Proper attention to your health pays great dividends.

It’s great. I could live to 105.  (5 points)
Yay you!

I have health issues.  (1 point)
Sorry. This definitely complicates things.

5. How important is fitness to you?

It’s not something I think a lot about.  (1 point)
This could be a big problem, no matter how well you've planned your retirement or how much money you’ve set aside. x

Getting regular walks each week works for me.  (3 points)
Great start, though A) are you doing enough and B) what about adding in resistance training?

I do something almost every day.  (5 points)

6. How long do you think you’ll live?

At least into my 90s.  (5 points)
A positive, forward-focused mindset matters a LOT. It can help you overcome almost anything.

I hope to get to 80 or so.  (3 points)
These ripples of doubt and hope make it harder to plan a robust future.

I never think about it.  (1 point)
It’s great to live in the moment, but this approach could torpedo you if you haven’t planned well for a long life.

7. What will you do for fun during retirement?

I have no clue.  (1 point)
This could make things challenging. Time to find a hobby, for starters. Then build from there.

The possibilities are endless!  (5 points)
Your enthusiasm is infectious. You’ll probably never be starved for things to do.

I’ll figure it out. I’m good at finding fun things to do.  (3 points)
Living in the moment is great, but will this approach become tiring (and run dry) over 30 years? What if you made a few plans?

I have a few things on my list.  (3 points)
Okay, that’s a starting point. Focus now on the variety of things you want to do. If they are mostly of a similar type, you may find yourself getting bored. So mix it up, and include things that push you out of your comfort zone.

8. How important is having a sense of purpose in what you do?

I just want to enjoy each day, without any commitments.  (1 point)
That’s fine at first or when you need a break, but this could lead to aimlessness in a few years. That’s a sucky place to be.

Sounds great, but I’m not sure what that would be.  (3 points)
This gives room to grow, even if the immediate path isn’t clear. Follow your curiosity and things will start to develop.

This is really important, and I have a clear idea of how I want to contribute.  (5 points)
Yes, yes, yes!

9. How will your identity change when you retire?

It won’t change. I am who I am.  (1 point)
That might be true, but it’s likely wrapped up in a fixed mindset — and that could be a big problem when things don’t go the way you expect.

There’s going to be a period of transition to deal with.  (5 points)
Being prepared for the inevitable changes, and being open to whatever comes up, is the healthiest path.

This is something I’m concerned about.  (3 points)
Awareness is good, but fear won’t help you here. Change is coming, my friend. Embrace it!

I don’t know.  (1 point)
An honest assessment is a good starting point. Just know that you will face a change in identity when you make a change as big as this. The more prepared you are for that, the easier it will be to navigate it.

I have no idea what you’re talking about.  (1 point)
It’s good that we've raised the issue then. Let’s have a chat about this.

10. What fears do you have about retirement?

Running out of money.  (3 points)
This is a very reasonable fear, but if you’re in doubt — and gripped by this — you may make sub-optimal choices. It’s better to address this underlying fear now.

Being bored.  (5 points)
This is one of the key instigators of plans and finding something to sink your teeth into. Meanwhile, a little boredom can actually prompt great creativity.

I have no fears about it.  (1 point)
Maybe, or it may be a fixed mindset with a splash of arrogance talking. My invitation: don’t be surprised if these life changes do knock you about some.

I feel anxious, but I’m not sure why.  (1 point)
There’s a lot to be concerned about, but don’t sit there with your anxiety. Shine a lot on it and identify the things you can control in this process. Working with a coach or therapist can be invaluable.

That something will happen to affect my ability to work.  (3 points)
This is a reasonable fear. If it motivates you to step up your plans and resources, that’s good. If it causes you to freeze, though, it’s time to get some help, so you can reclaim your sense of control.

11. Do you have a spouse or significant other?

Yes.  (5 points)
Having a deep relationship in your life is a key factor in staying vital throughout the years.  [If you chose this answer, go to #12A.]

That’s not a factor for me.  (3 points)
Not having a spouse or partner doesn’t make you wrong or less than; many people make this choice later in their lives. But not having a special someone does limit some emotional benefits. Being at choice matters, though.  [If you chose this answer, go to #12B.]

No.  (1 point)
This answer, as opposed to the one just above, has an undercurrent of longing (and perhaps some despair?). That’s not to suggest that anyone will do, but honoring the lack takes allows you to get back to choice.
  [If you chose this answer, go to #12B.]

12A. What does this person think about your plans?

Totally on board with whatever I decide.  (5 points)
You are a fortunate individual.

Not enthused about what may happen.  (1 point)
This could be a problem. Keep talking and be open to their concerns.

This is an ongoing topic of discussion (3 points)
You’re not “There” yet, but don’t let these conversations slide.

12B. Who’s your go-to for emotional support?

Close friends  (3 points)
This is great, though for better or worse, friends are not quite in the same class as family.

Family  (5 points)
In most cases, blood *is* thicker than water. The exception is when key family members aren’t fully open or available to you (though for this exercise, we’ll presume they are).

My dog  (1 point)
Okay, this is a frivolous answer (but not untrue?). Please invest time and energy finding someone who can be your “person.”

13. Where will you live during this next phase of your life?

I haven’t thought much about it.  (1 point)
Well, it’s time to. Even if you don’t end up moving, giving attention to this will help you be prepared if you do need to move (by choice or necessity).

I don’t want to move.  (3 points)
If this is because you can’t imagine living anywhere else, lucky you! But you might still want to keep your options open. Meanwhile, if you don’t want to move because of fear of change, you could be holding yourself back (in which case this should really score as a 1.)

I can’t move.  (1 points)
This is true for some people. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a fabulous next chapter in your life, it just means you lose a little flexibility.

I’m going to move.  (3 points)
By choice? Planned or forced? It’s challenging, even destabilizing to start over, so there’s some risk and uncertainty here, even if this is a move you want to make. But if you’re doing it by choice, that control is definitely a positive thing.

I’ll let my other plans dictate where I live.  (5 points)
This kind of flexibility and openness expands the range of possibilities available to you.

14. How do you feel about “change” in your life?

I’m not a fan, unless I can be in control.  (1 point)
This is a common reaction, but it doesn’t help you when you’re hit with all the disruptions this next chapter provides. Preparing yourself mentally now will make this process easier.

I embrace it, even when it’s hard.  (5 points)
That spirit that will help you thrive, regardless of what is to come!

It’s a part of life. You deal with it.  (3 points)
Right on. AND, finding a way to not just recover from the initial blast of change, but to move into it with intention — that will take you even further.

15. How involved will you be with family during retirement?

We’ll get together from time-to-time.  (3 points)
Do what you can; everyone’s family experience is different.

I’ll see them as much as possible.  (5 points)
Families that are deeply connected tend to be your most enduring tribe, and that helps a lot in supporting you, in good times and bad.

We’re not really connected.  (1 point)
This is a hole you should fill with other people.

16. What kind of social network do you have?

I have lots of friends, near and far.  (5 points)
Having people you can turn to, especially when you can interact face-to-face, and with whom you can share a comforting touch, makes a huge impact on your state of being.

I have a handful of close friends, but not all are nearby. (3 points)
Deep connections are important, but having them at a distance robs you of a little of the magic that comes from rubbing shoulders. Zoom calls help, and these can be some of our most important relationships. Now, if only they were nearby . . .

I don’t have many people I’m in regular contact with.  (1 point)
Take steps to change this. It matters a lot to your long-term health.

17. How prepared are you financially for this next chapter in your life?

Super prepared. I could last 30 years or more without working.  (5 points)
Great! Just know that this isn’t the end of the process...

I’m part way there, but I can’t stop working yet.  (3 points)
Cool. Keep at it, but remember that financial matters are not the only factors. 

I don’t want to stop making money or stop working.  (3 points)
That’s great. Just be aware that this intention may change at some point later in your life. So do some financial planning now, before you need to.

I can never retire. (1 point)
Yikes. Sorry. Look for things where you can
 be at choice, so you don’t lose faith in humanity. “Retirement” after all is just a word.

I don’t know.  (1 point)
This would be a good time to find out!

18. Have you developed a budget or financial plan for your future?

No (1 point)
This is a recipe for disaster, or at least having to scramble at a later date. Don’t put that pressure on yourself.

Yes, I did it myself.  (3 points)
Good. And how thorough were you? You might want to do a check in with a financial professional to see if you’ve missed anything.

Yes, I worked with a financial planner.  (5 points)
This has the greatest potential for success, when it comes to your financial future.

19. How important is it to leave a legacy?

It’s a nice concept, but I’m not thinking about it.  (1 points)
Fair enough. You have no obligation to give more than yourself. But what will the world miss out on that you might share?

This is really important to me. I want to know that I mattered.  (5 points)
This is a powerful motivator. Make the most of it! Your passion will open doors.

I like to be helpful. I think that’s enough.  (3 points)
Great. Thanks!

I want to share what I’ve learned, whether I’m noted for it or not.  (5 points)
Your wisdom and commitment to future generations will provide great impact.

20. How old are you?

Under 55  (3 points)
This gives you more time to plan and try out new ideas. The risk is that, with a longer timeline until retirement, you might lose focus or interest in the process.

55-64  (5 points)
This is the sweet spot, provided your financial planning is in full gear. This age range gives you time to plan, but with a horizon that isn’t too far off.

65+  (1 point)
You’re in it or nearly there. How flexible can you be now? The critical factor is your financial status, but the longer you go without defining your next direction or purpose, the harder it becomes to do the work required to make that a reality.

There will always be exceptions or gray areas in a quiz like this, so it’s possible I didn't give you the best answer to absolutely define yourself. If you’d like a more nuanced look at where you are, let’s have a chat.

» If you’ve found this page without first having gone through the quiz, you can find it here.