There are a few key questions I recommend you ask yourself as a pre-retiree…
- What will you do with your time?
- What will it truly cost to live your ideal retirement lifestyle?
- Are you on track to afford this?
- When will you be ready to enter the retirement phase?
Consider this your ‘planning for retirement tool kit’.
It is also a refresher course for our retirees in these different post-Covid times.
Deciding what to do in retirement is a significant life transition that requires careful thought and planning. Here are some steps to help you work out what you need to do:
1. Assess Your Finances:
Start by evaluating your financial situation. Understand your retirement income, including pensions, savings, investments, and Social Security benefits. Determine your monthly budget and expenses to ensure you have a clear understanding of your financial resources.
2. Set Retirement Goals:
Think about what you want to achieve and experience in retirement. Consider both short-term and long-term goals. These could include traveling, volunteering, pursuing hobbies, or spending more time with family and friends.
3. Explore new Hobbies and Interests:
Reflect on your interests and passions. Retirement is an excellent time to explore hobbies or activities you’ve always wanted to try. Whether it’s gardening, painting, cooking or sports, pursuing your interests can be fulfilling.
4. Plan for Health and Wellness:
Prioritize your health. Maintain a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and a balanced diet. Consider how you’ll access healthcare and insurance during retirement.
5. Volunteer and Give Back:
Many retirees find meaning in giving back to their communities. Look for volunteer opportunities or charitable organizations that align with your values and interests.
6. Learn and Grow:
Retirement can be an opportunity for personal growth and learning. Consider taking classes, attending workshops, or pursuing educational interests you may have put off in the past.
7. Travel and Adventure:
If travel is on your list, create a travel bucket list and plan trips you’ve always dreamed of. Travelling can be an exciting way to spend your retirement years.
8. Plan for Social Connections:
Maintain and build social connections. Consider joining clubs or groups that share your interests. Staying socially active is crucial for your emotional well-being.
9. Part-Time Work or Consulting:
Some retirees choose to work part-time or consult in their previous field. This can provide additional income and help you stay engaged professionally.
10. Create a Routine:
While retirement offers flexibility, having a daily routine can help provide structure and purpose. It can also help you achieve your goals more effectively.
11. Budget Wisely:
Keep an eye on your finances in retirement. Stick to a budget to ensure your resources last throughout your retirement years.
12. Seek Professional Advice:
Consult with financial advisors and retirement experts. They can help you navigate complex financial decisions and ensure your retirement plan is sound.
13. Review and Adjust:
As time goes on, periodically review your retirement plans and goals. Adjust them as needed to reflect changing circumstances and priorities.
14. Enjoy the Journey:
Finally, remember that retirement is a journey. Embrace the opportunity to explore new experiences, relax, and savour the moments you’ve worked hard to achieve.
Ultimately, the key to a fulfilling retirement is aligning your activities and pursuits with your interests, values, and financial situation. It’s a time to enjoy life on your terms and make the most of the freedom that retirement offers.
Let’s take a dive into a few of these:
Assess Your Finances:
When assessing your financial situation, it’s important to consider and set your retirement goals, explore your hobbies and interests, continue to learn and grow and think about what travel and adventure you want to experience.
A lot of these are interconnected and we would encourage you to ask yourself the next 10 questions:
- What countries would you like to visit and even more specific, what cities?
- What sporting events would you love to attend?
- What are five things you would like to do just once?
- What passions did you have as a child that you have not done for years?
- What is something as a family you would like to experience together?
- Is there a hobby that you have been wanting to try?
- Is there some goal or achievement that you would like to experience again?
- Is there a place in the world you want to do an extended stay?
- Is there a health milestone that you want to achieve?
- Is there something you would like to do for someone else?
This all then links to the following:
- Do you have enough?
- Do you have enough irrespective of investment markets?
- Do you have some safeguards or buffers in place?
- What is your strategy to deal with market conditions?
- What is your strategy to deal with health-related issues?
- What is your strategy for your house in retirement?
- What is your stagey for estate planning?
This is where good advice helps.
An advice firm that deals with retirees would have been through these events on a regular basis with other clients just like you.
The experience they bring to the table and the experience of having been through similar situations and helping clients through this is where advice firms can help you through these different phases.
In putting together the information for this month’s session I have used the resources from Keith Abraham and I personally use his material with our clients. You can learn more about Keith from his website: https://keithabraham.com/
“Nothing truly great happens until someone becomes passionate about something”. Keith Abraham.
Keith’s book can also be found here. This is a very popular book that we use for our retiree clients: https://keithabraham.com/product/living-your-passion/
In the fifth edition of his book Keith writes:
Have you ever wondered if there is more to life than what you are doing right now? Deep down, you know that life is too short to live without a passion and personal goals. What is your life plan? Are you achieving everything you want out of life? What is your passion and how close are you to obtaining it? Do you want more for yourself but feel helpless to change your current circumstances? If so, Living your Passion will show you how.
Some tips on what not to do:
Here are some things we have learnt over the years watching pre retirees move from pre retiree phase to retiree.
- Remember everyone you talk to will have a different opinion on what’s right for you.
They will base this on their own experience, some of it will be helpful but some of it won’t be and will end up confusing you on decisions to make. Learn how to listen to people and acknowledge their advice but take on only what is relevant for you. Remember, you know what’s best for you and what you want your retirement to look like. It won’t be the same as everyone’s.
- Don’t buy a business from a hobby that you’ve always enjoyed or an idea that you think will be good.
Remember why you’re retiring. You’ve made the decision that work is now optional and we have seen clients waste their hard-earned savings on buying businesses that they now have to run and, in some cases, they don’t know anything about it! If there’s a great idea that you see, ask yourself can I do this as a hobby instead?
- Don’t go into retirement without a plan.
Think about the big picture things like your financial position, where you’re going to live and what you need to initially spend. More importantly though, work out what you’re going to do with your days now that you have time. It is great that we see clients come in and say “we don’t know how we ever fit in work” but sadly we see some clients saying they’re bored, and they don’t know what to do with themselves. This can be a problem for couples when they now find themselves living together 24/7 and they can start to get at each other. There are hundreds of things you can do and sometimes just a quick google search in your local area for retiree activities will give you a wide variety of ideas of things to occupy your time.
- Don’t become the built-in babysitter.
Of course, helping out your children and spending time with your grandkids is a wonderful time in life but keep the communication lines open with your children so that they understand there will be things that you want to do and you won’t be around to help with the child minding. You need to have your flexibility to be spontaneous to book trips, activities and social events.
- Travel where you want to.
Think about what’s on your bucket list and the places you really want to go. Be careful with accepting every invitation that comes your way from friends and family because before you know it your holiday budget is potentially gone, and you may not actually be seeing places you really want to go.
- Avoid the constant shiny new toy.
There’s always going to be the latest and greatest new release when it comes to houses, cars, boats, technology etc. and it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. Always ask yourself “do you really need it” and is it a “want or a need”? If funds permit and it’s something you’ve always wanted then grab the opportunity but if not, just stop and give it a second thought. Could your money be better spent elsewhere?
- Be careful of being taken advantage of.
We’ve all the heard the unfortunate stories of retirees being scammed. Whether it’s engaging services, making an online purchase or helping a loved one, do your research and get several different quotes before you proceed with something. Ask someone you trust to have a review of it for you if you’re still in doubt and remember if something seems too good to be true, it generally is!!
- Don’t continually bail out children with their poor financial decisions.
The old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me! Of course, we all want to help our children in life but if they are continually making poor financial decisions and you are helping fund that, then the lesson in life for them is not going to be learnt and your hard-earned money will quickly deplete.
- Don’t exit your home too early.
This is where it is very important to have a plan and to have done your research on where to live. Research the area and the type of housing that you want to live in. Is it a house, is it a duplex or unit complex, is it an over 50’s or a retirement village? Carefully consider your options as you could end up hating where you live and costing yourself thousands if you’ve moved too quickly.
- Don’t give up on technology even though it’s hard.
Yes, technology is hard because it is changing every day. Whether you like it or not it is the way the world has moved and in today’s time it will be very easy to quickly get left behind and lose your independence. There are several different courses and people that can help you and we would encourage you to embrace this. You might even find that you can then teach the grandkids a thing or two!
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