Why are so many people over 45 in denial about their retirement? Why does the very word “Retirement” create a mildly uncomfortable response? We plan in our business lives, yet we refuse to plan for our retirement.

We suspect that it is fear of the unknown, which is reinforced by years of negative images showing the worst aspects of ageing.

The reality is that life in retirement is just not like all those tired, old clichés. It can be some of the best years of our lives - IF we prepare properly for it. There is plenty of evidence indicating that people who sensibly plan for their retirement, enjoy fulfilling and active lives, where they can do a lot of the things that their earlier commitments to work, kids and mortgages, had made impossible.

It really is a fairly simple choice. You can do some retirement planning and look forward with a reasonable degree of certainty, to the sort of lifestyle you want and can afford, or you can just hope that “she’ll be right” and take no responsibility for your future happiness and wellbeing.

If you would prefer to have some control over your future lifestyle, can we make a few suggestions?

  1. Before focusing on your finances, think about what kind of lifestyle you want when you retire. Be reasonable. You can’t expect a world cruise every second year if you haven’t started to save for it. Think about what you would like to do & where you want to travel. Do you want to work part time? Where do you want to live? Do you want to study again? Talk with your partner, if you have one and try to agree on what sort of lifestyle you would both like.
  2. When you have a reasonable idea of what you would like to do in retirement, go and talk to a financial planner and ask him or her to develop a financial plan that will fund the kind of lifestyle you want. Clearly, the earlier you take this step, the longer you will have to accumulate the money you will need.
  3. Once you have a lifestyle plan and a financial plan, you should talk to an estate planning lawyer and ask him how you can safeguard your assets and ensure that when you die, your estate is distributed the way you want and not tied up in a legal battle. These days a will is an essential starting point, but you will probably need some additional documentation.

Now you don’t have to figure out all this stuff for yourself. We have produced a book called “The Rest of Your Life,” in which 20 experts on issues relating to retirement, have written a series of articles that will help you make a much easier and smoother transition to a new lifestyle. You can buy the book on this site. For details click here.

Aim to be debt free when you leave full time work

It’s your net worth after deducting your debts that becomes the engine that powers the lifestyle you want in retirement.So if you have less debt, your net worth will be greater. On the other hand, prudent debt can help you grow your assets faster leaving you in better position ...
Read more of the book


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