8 Headaches to Avoid When Preparing for a Happy Retirement
Ah, retirement! It’s a wonderful time. Except when it isn’t. As with most everything in life, there is a downside to retirement – challenges and irritations that can really take the shine off this phase of life. The good news: You can reduce or eliminate most of these potential woes with a bit of early awareness and proper planning. Here are 8 things you should start thinking about:
What If It Starts Early?
You may be planning to work until you are 65 or 70. But what if something interferes with this plan? Being made redundant at age 59? A partially debilitating illness at 61? Are you prepared for an early retirement both financially and mentally? If not, adjust your retirement savings strategy and mindset accordingly. Even if you hope to work until 70, set your sights on an earlier retirement age. Worst case scenario: You have a bigger nest egg when you leave work at 70.
It Can Be Boring
Think how much time you spend on work and child raising. What would you do with all that time if they were suddenly all yours? Currently you have a “two day weekend”. What will you do if you have a “seven day weekend”? That’s the challenge of retirement. Think about what you will do with your time and how much extra money you might need….. to continue life-long pursuits, pick up new hobbies, etc. You also might consider taking a part-time job in retirement. Working a few hours a week in a field you enjoy keeps you engaged and helps stretch your nest egg, too.
Your Parents Might Need You
We’re all living longer, which increases the chance that 65-year-olds might find themselves spending significant time and/or money caring for a parent in their late 80s. In fact, you might have to retire early to handle such responsibilities. Have you had this conversation with your parents? If not, talk to them now. Find out what arrangements they have made for their own care, and what they expect from you. It’s tough but it will help you all plan for all eventualities.
Money Could Be Scarce
Most people haven’t saved nearly enough for retirement. In fact, only 26% of us have set aside $100,000 or more for that purpose. Company provided Pensions and retiree health coverage are pretty much things of the past, making things even tougher. There’s a simple way to avoid this pitfall. Start truly prioritising your retirement savings—today.
Old Age Can Snake Up On You
The changes we experience while aging can happen almost as fast as what happens in puberty. In this youth-obsessed culture, too many of us are unprepared for the physical and mental challenges of old age. It pays to do some research and thinking to better understand how to make the most of the opportunities and limits of this phase of life.
Your Spouse Might Be A Drag
Too many retired couples discover that they’ve grown apart over the decades and, frankly, don’t love being together 24/7. This is a very common problem when one partner was a high-achiever focused intently on his or her job. Optimally, you and your significant other will do the work necessary to stay bonded over the years. But if you have trouble being together in retirement, there is nothing wrong with each of you spending time following your own pursuits and passions. You may also find that volunteering or otherwise doing some sort of meaningful work as a couple can renew your relationship.
Your Money Could Expire Before You!
Don’t under-estimate your longevity. We’re all in denial on this one. Just 25% of retirees think they will outlive their savings, according to one study. Only one-third have even bothered to calculate how long their nest egg will last. A frightening statistic is that 50% of women born in 2005 in the USA will live to see the next century. That doesn’t mean this is life expectancy for women in America, but that half of them will live past this age.
You Might Have A Burning Sensation
Thanks to better health, and new attitudes, we’re staying active well into our 70s and 80s. That’s awesome. These are all serious but manageable concerns about retirement. More proof that preparing for a great retirement takes more than saving money. It requires lots research, thought, and planning about things that don’t carry a dollar sign.
I have a colleague based in Australia, who teaches people all over the world, how to retire. Let me know if you want a referral……….
00971 50 8769035