There are some who believe they are ready to retire just to find out that there's no way they can do it financially.  It's not an easy thing to do; being financially and emotionally  prepared for a fixed income that's significantly less than what a person is used to living on.  I'm getting closer each day to retirement myself, but I'm not financially prepared for it, so I'm offering you (and me!) a few tips that will hopefully help.

The very first thing you need to do is to talk with your spouse/significant other about the idea of retirement.  A mistake that many people make is not discussing the concept with another person who will be greatly affected by the situation.  How will you spend your time?  Are you ready for more time with that other person?  The kids are gone, the job is gone and much of the money you were making is gone.  Can you live with that other person without the daily distractions you were so used to and the money you were used to?  Unfortunately, retirement can often bring on divorces.  Be sure to discuss with that other person how you envision your retirement.

Now let's think about the financial aspects of retirement.  It's easy to NOT have enough money on which to live.  Have you accumulated enough to continue your lifestyle?  Have you mentally and financially prepared yourself for living with less money on a fixed income?  Properly calculating how much money you'll truly need is imperative for a smooth and low stress transition into retirement.

Have you planned for the event of an emergency?  Getting sick, having an accident of some sort or a home that needs serious repair can turn into a financial disaster and a huge emotional stress.

How about long-term health care?  8 out of every 10 couples will need long-term health care for an individual in the relationship.  Both my parents required this and, fortunately for my brother and me, they had prepared for this scenario.

Last, but not least, just because you're married, don't assume you can be the person who can take care of business and health care decisions.  You should have a health care proxy, as well as power of attorney over each other.  If you don't have this, you can end up spending lots of time and money obtaining it.

I wish you all the best in your preparation for a time of your life that you should enjoy - you've earned it!  Now, if I can just follow my own advice...

There are many retirement planning websites, but here's one to get you started.