BY F2FA, 6:00am August 01, 2016,

5 Things to Consider When Planning for Retirement

What comes to your mind when you hear or read the word “retirement”? For many, it’s the grim picture of their parents’ and their humdrum lives as they try to keep up every day. Others have a fairy tale idea of what retirement should be and are working towards achieving that even if it doesn’t make sense to others.

After years of enduring a job you didn’t enjoy and dreaming about all the things you had always wanted to do but could not because of commitment to the kids and work, you may be looking forward to finally ticking off items off your bucket list from skydiving to climbing Mount Everest. Whatever retirement means to you, I hope you are doing something to make it a reality.

Some people are investing and saving as much as they can towards their retirement. They live very stingy and prudent lives in fear that the future may be tough, while denying themselves what the present has to offer. Many others believe “whatever will be, will be,” so why stress yourself? They are enjoying all of their hard-earned cash now, splurging and spending it at every opportunity that comes their way. They have a do-nothing approach.

There’s a right balance to enjoying the present and planning for the future. When you start work in your twenties, you imagine you’ve still got so many years ahead to enjoy your cash before you start stashing away for retirement. Then one day you realize it’s your 40th birthday and you neither have an emergency fund nor own your home.

You might think those who plan judiciously for their retirement are from poor backgrounds. Not necessarily. Those who have learned how money works don’t want to be stranded when the rainy day comes. On the other hand, some ladies who grew up in poverty have quickly forgotten that awful experience and are going on a spending spree as if money grows on trees.

Women could get very emotional with this topic. Men get jittery too even though they may choose not to display their tense emotions on this delicate issue.

Most women work because of different reasons. No one wants to be depending on any man for cash, and retirement plans shouldn’t be any different. However, many single ladies don’t take retirement seriously as they think life really begins after marriage, but they soon regret when they get married to some guy who had no plans as well, and they start out together very late. It’s never too early to start thinking and planning for retirement.

Guys seldom want to talk about retirement; it’s scary to think of doing nothing and earning less, which has fueled their ego and identity over the years. They’ve got an overwhelming burden to provide even when their income reduces. As a result, many guys will get another job and just keep working.

Today we won’t be talking about how to save or invest for your retirement, rather, what to consider when you’re planning for it.

How much cash would I have access to: Since you no longer work, you want to make sure all you’ve saved and invested can provide what you basically need. If you own your home, then it’s your upkeep and insurance that’s left. If you’ve got kids still in school then, it’s good to make plans to pay for that additional cost. Don’t live a lifestyle now that you can’t sustain later. It could be depressing looking at a before and after picture. Live below your means and don’t keep up with the Joneses.

Where do I want to retire: It’s only within our shores that folks who retire just stay at home doing practically nothing. Who says it’s too late to learn a new sport, speak a different language, or play a musical instrument. There’s no proven research that the brain can’t be further stretched even in the later years.

You don’t want to be in an environment or hang around people that make you feel you’re done with life. You also don’t want to feel as much pressure as your body ages. You want a support system that will encourage healthy living, stretching your capacity to take on more even when you’re older, before age eventually diminishes your capacity and leaves you with fewer options. Unfortunately, our hectic cities do not provide a conducive environment to retire because while in retirement you don’t relax but remain tense with all the issues around.

What will I be doing: Unfortunately, our society is wired in such a way that everything is an opportunity to make money. If you’re not running a business, you aren’t celebrated. Retirement is a good time to give back – your time, your skills, and extra cash if you’ve got it. Some ladies want to start knitting sweaters for homeless migrants or serving at a soup kitchen. It’s up to you – find your sweet spot and be a blessing.

What will be my health status: After working so hard during your active years and earning so much, you don’t want to throw all that to the doctors for medical care as your body ages. You need to look after yourself so your body and mind can last for the long haul. Exposing your body to lots of processed food and a high salt and sugar intake will wear the body out. Keep track of your numbers by doing an annual physical and blood work so you can identify and trend anomalies early on. A right balance of healthy meals, sleep, and exercise will keep you fit.

When do I want to retire: Most people never opt for retirement or resign early; they keep working till the company asks them to leave or their age dictates. Opting for retirement isn’t as harsh as waiting to be asked to go. You would have prepared your mind and adjusted your lifestyle ahead of time. You don’t just to want to continue going to work when you know you aren’t really adding any value, especially if you are a low performer. Do yourself the honors and bow out. Resigning is a risk, but it will get you ready for the real world compared to waiting.

Many ladies who get married late or start having kids much later find out they still have got bills to pay during retirement so it robs them off the cash they could have spent on themselves, their dreams and hobbies. So retirement becomes another waiting game, and you see lots of women living unfulfilled lives.

Never think retirement is too far in the future; picture the life you want to live, and do something about it today.  Keep that picture always before you as you spend your cash today so you won’t be stranded or depressed that you never accomplished your dreams.

Last Edited by:Deidre Gantt Updated: August 1, 2016


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