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.
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 time. 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.
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 so you can enjoy all this money you are hoarding. My father worked very 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, maybe 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 on making 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.
Retirement can be a wonderful time, but you must start preparing for it now, financially but also in terms of your lifestyle.