So many people go through their working life waiting for the magical day when they can ‘retire’ from their job. This retirement date may be the date when they become eligible to receive the age pension or another arbitrary date that they have been working towards. But often these same people reach their retirement and twelve months later discover that it is not what they had expected it to be. This is because they viewed their retirement as a destination to reach, rather than a phase in life to be planned for. And once they reached their destination, they had no idea how to fill in their days to feel happy and fulfilled.
In years leading up to retirement it is important to START THINKING ABOUT YOUR VISION FOR RETIREMENT and START PLANNING FOR THIS.
The reality is that most people spend more time planning for a two week holiday than they do for their own retirement.
As a Family Wealth Adviser, of course I believe that preparing financially is fundamental part of preparing for retirement – including understanding your financial priorities and how much you expect to spend in the early, middle and late stages of retirement. But RETIREMENT IS ABOUT SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST MONEY….
You also need to think about the non-financial aspects of retirement and WHAT WILL BRING YOU HAPPINESS IN RETIREMENT:
- What will motivate you to get out of bed each day?
- How will you structure your days? What activities will you do with and without your partner?
- Do you want to learn and do new things?
- Where do you want to live? Do you want to downsize your home?
- Do you have travel ideas and plans? Do you want to travel regularly throughout retirement or more in the early years of retirement?
- What roles will you each have around the home and in the garden?
- Do you have any health issues or physical limitations that will impact you significantly? What strategies do you have to cope should you or your partner suffer a health setback?
- How will you replace the aspects of work that give your life meaning?
- What type of relationship and level of social interaction would you like to have with family and friends?
- How involved would you like to be with your grand-children?
- What lifestyle activities would you like to undertake? Physical activities? Intellectual activities? Spectator activities? Solitary contemplation?
- How do you want to contribute and give back to your community?
All of the above are essential components to factor into your RETIREMENT LIFESTYLE PLAN.
The more your mind is prepared for retirement the more likely you are to transition successfully into retirement and enjoy this phase in life.
Remember, as life expectancies increase, retirement is no longer a footnote or something to fill in your sunset years. Most people enter their retirement years as active, healthy, experienced and wise individuals and can expect to live another two to three decades.
Now is the time to start thinking about and planning for your retirement.
With thanks to Barry LaValley, Founder of the Retirement Lifestyle Centre in Canada, who I recently heard speak on this important topic.