Retirement Series – Retirement and The Need for Planning

man and woman sitting on brown wooden bench

The commonly accepted term for life after a career is called retirement. Often seen as a reward after spending a lifetime at work. It can fun in the sun for some but for many it is often a time of fear.

The fear is well founded, for when a career or job is finished, most of us face the need to live on what we have built in capital, work pensions, and entitlements to public pensions. The situation can be downright frightening. For most retirees, the period that follows work is one not of abundance, but of measured privation.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Proper planning and action can save us a lot of trouble at the age when we have other challenges as well.

The term “retirement planning” has no precise definition. It is about having an income without having to work. But it is not only about money, but all other aspects of life.

Here are some of the most common of questions that you will need to answer before choosing retirement.

  1. Do you want to retire?
  2. When do you plan to retire?
  3. What do you intend to in retirement?
  4. Where do you plan to live?
  5. How long do I realistically think I might live?
  6. What are my health prospects?

The single most important factor is to know that successful retirement requires planning. It doesn’t just happen by itself. The person who comes to this realizes early and begins planning while still in early middle age or from the first pay cheque will obviously have some advantages over the one who arrives at this decision much later. First and most important step is simply recognizing that there are certain things that can be done in advance to ease the transition. Having said this, it needs to be said that it is never too late to start planning.

This is why retirement planning is important:

  1. You will live your life in a dignified manner.
  2. You don’t know what you don’t know.
  3. Seeing the big picture helps you to make better career and financial decisions
  4. Forced early retirement won’t be so scary.
  5. Better health due to lower levels of stress.
  6. To be emergency-ready.

Every retirement plan is unique. Each of us have very specific idea and need when we retire. his is why it’s important to have a plan that is designed specifically to suit your individual needs.

Before you set out a plan to create financial reserves for your retirement years, it makes sense to spend some time first reflecting on how you envision enjoying life after you stop working. Are you dreaming about moving to a rural setting to smell the roses and watch the sun set Perhaps all you want is to be situated in an environment where you do not have to worry about maintaining a lawn, clearing away snow, or doing any of the mundane chores of life.

Here are some top tips for retirement planning:

  • Start putting money away as soon as you begin working to get the biggest pay out when you retire.
  • Remember that you are not necessarily restricted to one type of retirement investment vehicle. Use all that you can.
  • Put something away from every pay period, even if you don’t reach the allowable maximum each year.
  • Execute all necessary legal documents including a will, health care directive, health care proxy, and durable power of attorney to protect yourself and your heirs.
  • If you will not have enough money to live on when you reach retirement age, think about part-time work to supplement your income.
  • Make a list of what you want to do and where you want to go when you stop working.
  • Research living options. These can include staying in a big house, moving to a planned community, or downsizing to two or more smaller places in locales you enjoy.
  • Keep up your energy with a nutritious diet and exercise so you can stretch your active, healthy years.
  • Find meaningful ways to become engaged in your community, sharing your wealth of talent, experience, and skills.