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One Thing to do Before You Retire

Over the past little while, events in my life have taught me the most important thing that must not happen before you retire. I view it as the most critical part of your retirement planning.

I have noted a lot of folks talking about the importance of putting money into your RRSP and others talking about the importance of being out of debt before you retire. Others talk about the importance of an excellent pension plan, and this is something else that you should put in your retirement arsenal of tools. Still, others push the importance of retiring early. However, my concept is still even more important than this if you genuinely want to enjoy your retirement.


What Must You do Before You Retire ?

What is this crucial thing that you must not do before you retire? Die, don’t die before you retire, or all your savings and hard work will be for no good reason.

It seems like a frivolous and relatively obvious statement. Still, given my age, I am finding out and seeing more and more of my peers getting ill and passing away, and the only folks who are benefiting from their hard work in setting up for their retirements are their families (if they have any).

Too Simple ?

Yes, in some ways, but I am trying to make that I would much rather be 85 years old and in debt than dead at age 52 with no debt. No, I am not espousing blowing all your money because life is short (to be trite). I am saying your health is more important than your money.

How to stop dieing before your retirement?

No,  the best defence there is to look both ways before crossing the street, but it will better your odds of making it to an enjoyable retirement.

Health first, then make sure your financial house is in order to enjoy your retirement.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Well put! If you can ensure that people don’t die, you’ll make a fortune 🙂

    Unfortunately, we don’t know how long we’re here and may leave a financial burden for those we care about. That’s the rationale for life insurance. Taking care of ourselves is important but not a guarantee.

  2. alex@financialplanners

    I couldn’t agree more that health needs to play a role in everyones retirement plans. The only thing I would like to make note of is the emphasis that it is not simply one or the other, old and in debt or to die young. The key to this puzzle, and to find a steady financial equilibrium, is to carefully balance and incorporate a life time of health with a wisely thought out financial plan for future expenses. I agree with each statement made before, I’m just trying to point out that the real challenge is being aware of all the factors at play before time starts working against you.

  3. Staying healthy should be something you just do! Your retirement “bucket” list needs to include some fun things like travel, and other experiences that are better done when you are younger. I don’t know how much traveling I want to do when I am 85. We take a major (overseas) trip every other year and smaller trips every year.

  4. Big Cajun Man,

    Great article! This is a very overlooked piece to the retirement puzzle…health. From personal experience, with my mother in law passing at 52…with no debt, to my clients experiences (alzheimers, cancer, heart attack), sadly health is far too often put on the back burner until it is too late. With the majority of my clients being elderly women, I am finding it very common for these retired women to be spending their so called golden years caring for ill spouses and parents or facing these years alone. Lets hope this trend gets reversed soon.

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