Retirement - now what?

Written on the 25 June 2021 by Parkside InvestorPlus

Retirement - now what?

As we navigate through life, we have several significant transition events that shape our lives.

Typically, these events include:

  • Study and education
  • Starting your first job
  • Getting married
  • Having children
  • Children getting married
  • Becoming grandparents

While not all of us may experience these events, there is one significant life event that most will have to come to grips with - retirement.

Retirement is considered as one of the top 10 most stressful life events.

And because each of us is different in our own right, we will all prepare for, enter, and live out the retirement phase in different ways.

Retirement can be incredibly challenging for many people and all for different reasons.  However, there is one common factor that will determine how 'successful' your retirement phase will be and that is the planning phase -  which needs to happen well before you even approach retirement.

There are no rule books or checklists on how to plan for your retirement.

Certainly, seeking professional advice from your financial/wealth planner is a great starting point, however, remember, this is YOUR retirement and planning what YOU want from your retirement will make it an even more pleasant and enjoyable phase of your life.

Again, there are no hard and fast rules for retirement planning, however, from our experience, the following steps tend to make the transition a little less stressful.

Set a retirement budget

While this sounds like 'duh' - it's a fundamental step that many people don't fully give their attention to. 

In retirement, there are certain costs that you may no longer have to contend with (school fees, commuting costs and others) - however, there other costs that will still be there and in some cases, may increase, for example health care.

And of course you may think of travel and possibly even home renovations.

Without a budget, retirement can and will be an unpleasant experience simply because the gap between expectations and reality will be so wide.

Set a "life after work" plan

So, now that you have your retirement budget in place, you can begin on the fun stuff to do in retirement.

Your "life after work" plan is not locked in stone - rather, it's there to serve as things which you and, hopefully, your partner would like to do - this is your bucket list of fun stuff to do.

Your fun list of things to do is entirely up to you - travel, hobbies, volunteering and so on.

And again, this is where your budget comes into play - you need to ensure you can fund your bucket list of goals.

Set a plan to ease into retirement

Remember, one day you are working and the next, you're in your retirement.

This is one shock transition and expecting to easily switch gears from full-time work to no work is a massive ask.

The process of transitioning from work into retirement takes time, so give yourself time to adjust to your new life as a retiree.

And sometimes, time is the only factor where the uncomfortable can become comfortable again.

Be gentile on yourself and your partner during this transition stage by not having any expectations of each other or from being retired.

One strategy to ease into retirement is to think about pre-retiring - in other words, if possible, while still in the workforce, you may start to wind back the hours or days that you work - allowing you to dip your toes into the world of retirement.

Set a plan to keep learning

Finally, have a plan to keep learning and engaging your mind.

Retirement does not require you to switch off and drift away in fact it's the opposite you have now been presented with the opportunity to do all those things that you've wanted to do or have thought of doing.

For example:

  • Learning a new language
  • Restoring the old car that's been sitting in the garage
  • Reading biographies of people you've admired
  • Taking up photography

You get the idea.

Again, there are no set rules on how to successfully retire.

As mentioned earlier, a good starting point is to consult your financial planner well in advance of your anticipated retirement point - at least 3-5 years before.

At Parkside, we can help you align your aspirations and values with a financial plan so you can meet your retirement goals.

Author:Parkside InvestorPlus
About: As advisers, we act as a fiduciary sitting on the same side of the table as our clients, providing peace of mind, greater control and visibility.

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