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Retirement Do’s and Don’ts

For some of my readers, retirement is an abstract concept that is so far away, you have no idea what you might do or what it means, but for those (like me) who are much closer to it, it is brutally, hand-wringing real, so here is a simple list of retirement do’s and don’ts to try to achieve.

I have spent a great deal of time thinking and reading about retirement, and the closer I get to my “retirement age” (whatever that age is), the more precise the image in my head of what retirement might be.

Retirement Do’s

Much Younger Me
This advice is for much older me, wishing someone had told younger me (in this picture) something similar.

I can give you a few simple Do’s to help you with your retirement planning:

  • Do you have enough money to retire on. If you don’t have enough money to retire, you aren’t retired, you are destitute. It’s the easiest (and most trite) advice any financial professional can give you, but remember the sooner you start saving, the easier it is.
  • Make it clear to your kids that it is your retirement, so you are not paying for their happiness. You have spent enough time doing that. Now it is your turn. Too many children boomerang back into their parents’ lives (and wallets). Make your children aspire only to return home to visit. Better still, ask your children to help pay for your retirement, or if you don’t have enough money, think about moving in with them.

Retirement Don’ts

If we have a list of Do’s we must have some Don’ts

  • Don’t die, if you retire and die the first year of your retirement, won’t you feel silly? Seriously, take care of your health now to enjoy all this money you are hoarding. My father worked hard, and when he finally retired, he only had a few years before he was wheelchair-bound. Be healthy and that you can start doing right now.
  • Don’t assume you will take up new and exciting hobbies or things to do when you retire, you should start doing them now. If your lifestyle is sedentary, don’t assume that when you retire you are going to be active and social. If you plan to make a change in physical activity, see your Doctor first (don’t just start trying to run a marathon).
  • Don’t carry debt into your retirement. Aim to retire with no debt. Better still, when you have no debt, you can retire.
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Retirement can be a wonderful time, but you must start preparing for it now, financially but also in terms of your lifestyle.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Planning planning planning! That is key. The sooner you start, the better off you will be, but even getting a late start, you can get there in decent time. Get that plan in place and stick to it! Learn more about making a retirement plan at http: // www. mutualfundstore. com/ planning-and-retirement. There are lots of options to consider.

  2. Great advice, all points and “don’t die” is a favourite. Seriously, I considered that point when I pulled the pins (air force term, that). This past year I faced the reality that my career path had run it’s course, that housing was likely peaking and that I was decent enough at managing my investments that I could get make a go of it if I was careful. So, I sold my home of 22 years in one of the least affordable cities in Canada, moved to the Kootenays, reducing my costs by 60%.

    Retiring at 52 rather than 65 seriously cuts my odds of dying in year 1! 🙂 And yeah, I’m taking up all sorts of new hobbies (photography, blogging, bonsai)!!

  3. Do make sure you have a plan as to how you plan to spend your time. It is one thing to THINK retirement is a whole bunch of things, but taking the time to plan what it will be, will make it more enjoyable. Make sure you still have a social network, otherwise you may go stir crazy quickly and if your partner is retired too, drive the two of you apart, and as financial people we all understand how divorces can affect finances. Make sure you have similar goals of retirement with your better half, otherwise, retirement might not be as fun as you think. Ensure you have an outlet to feel useful and still pass along knowledge because if you do not, depression may settle in, ensuring a non-happy retirement for you and family. From personal experience I suggest easing into retirement, trying it out, to get comfortable with it, so it does not overwhelm you, your partner or your family and friends, because remember not all of them may be able to enjoy the fact you no longer NEED to work. I have been officially retired 2-1/2 years, but now only beginning to understand its impact and what retirement really means. – Cheers and happy planning.

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