Will you be retiring soon? Here are the Biggest Questions to Ask Yourself When Preparing for Retirement and this major life change.
The 4 Biggest Questions to Ask Yourself When Preparing for Retirement
Ensuring you prepare for retirement properly is about making sure that you ask the right questions. Retirement is one of those things that sneaks up on us, and if you are not ready you could find yourself playing catch up later in life when you should be enjoying the winding down process. When it comes to retiring, you need to ask yourself some of the following:
Where Do You Picture Yourself?
It is not just about how much you need and the financial components, but it’s about making sure that you picture yourself in the right location. One of the biggest mistakes we all make when preparing for retirement is not understanding how we would practically be able to live. You don’t want to spend more time cleaning a larger house or traveling further to see your loved ones. Instead, you need to think about slowing everything right down, which is why you have to consider something like a retirement community.
Retirement communities like Connect 55+ provide all-inclusive amenities, and there are many Connect 55+ communities, but you also need to decide if your home location and your day-to-day life is going to be manageable based on where you are. Many people can’t afford to downsize or they’ve been renting all of their life, and this is why you need to think about those people who have struggled in retirement.
It should be the best time of your life because you don’t need to work and you just have the opportunity to enjoy yourself. Where you picture yourself is pivotal.
How Would You Cope With Retirement?
There are many instances of people who have decided that after a year, retirement isn’t for them. You may find yourself working to the bone these days. Whether you are in your 30s or older or are on the approach to your retirement age within the next decade, you need to emotionally prepare yourself for retirement.
One of the biggest problems many people make in preparing for retirement is thinking that it’s all going to be a very rosy existence. Understanding what you want to achieve out of retirement can give you a greater insight into what you could do to cope. There are things that we seldom prepare for properly in life. Retirement is about going at a slower pace and making sure that you have lovely days out and spending quality time with your grown-up children or grandchildren, but you also need to make sure you have a structure in place. Think about some of the following to make sure that you can cope with retirement:
- Making sure you set aside enough money for the beginning of your retirement rather than the end. Doing this means that you will front-load your retirement with things that correlate with your physical health. For example, if you wanted to go on a hiking vacation, you would be better off doing this when you are in better physical health.
- Structuring your week to avoid boredom. Retirement shouldn’t be about experiencing boredom, but rather, it should be something that we can all enjoy. Stretching your week is pivotal because it gives you something to do, something to focus on, and will ensure that you get the most out of all of this downtime.
- Being aware of your mental health. Because people start to become bored within the early stages of retirement they end up going back to work. People think this gives them something to focus on. The problem is then you end up working for the vast majority of your life. If it’s something you care about, that’s okay, but you have to give great consideration to the mental health aspects of retirement, especially isolation.
- Having a social network. Mental health concerns in retirement are partly to do with social isolation. Structuring your week to ensure that you do things that benefit you but also give you that all-important social outlet is critical.
How Much Money is Necessary for Retirement?
There are many schools of thought when it comes to retiring with the right amount. Experts have provided various rules of thumb, including a figure of somewhere near $1 million, 80% to 90% of your annual income before you give up work, or 12 times the amount of what you use to make annually. Ensuring you retire with the right amount is about really considering the big things. These include:
- Your lifestyle.
- What hobbies do you want to pursue?
- The social security benefits you’re entitled to.
- Where you want to live.
- And much more.
Giving yourself an understanding of what is necessary for your retirement will make sure that you start to put the right amount aside. We’ve already touched on it briefly, but it’s far better for you to front-load your retirement funds. People make the mistake of believing they need the same amount every year. As we get older, gradually we start to slow down in many ways.
Think about retirement as being a descending curve- at the very beginning of retirement you will have more energy and you will want to spend more time doing things you would be able to do for various reasons. Hobbies, classes, and many other things need to form part of your retirement budget. Think about the current costs of what it takes to achieve your desires, but also account for inflation. What will cost a specific amount now will naturally cost more in the future.
What Do I Need to Change Now to Enjoy My Retirement Years?
Retirement can creep up on us and this can be a big shock to the system because all of a sudden, the structure in life where we work, spend time with our family, and sleep has been replaced with a calendar that has exploded with possibilities. As fantastic as this sounds, this could be too much to cope with. Many people who give up work find that after a couple of years, they get bored or just succumb to old age and subconsciously give in. This is why you need to think of some of the following:
- Organizing your finances, which as we’ve already touched on, helps you to work out what you need to live on.
- Preparing for the ups and downs of life. We can all feel a bit lonely or lost and something we’ve not touched upon is in retirement you will find yourself attending a lot more funerals than normal. It’s important to think positively and prepare for the physical and emotional ups and downs.
- Look after your health. Ensuring that you have a solid baseline of health now means you are going to enjoy retirement far more. The big mistake we all make is thinking that we just need to make the big dietary or lifestyle changes just before we retire. The reality is that the inevitable declines start around the age of 30. While they tend to speed up the older we get, if you want to fully enjoy your retirement, it’s about the simple things like eating well and exercising the optimum amount.
- Making peace with yourself. Retirement could be a challenge and some people spend the first few years of their retirement dwelling on their working life. It’s important to accept that you’ve done everything you can and look forward.
We hope that some of these questions have given you some tools to help you understand what retirement really is. It’s not just about saving up a certain amount of money, but it’s about preparing in a variety of other methods. Rather than worrying about getting on in years, the great thing you can do is to start preparing now. Because if you start preparing in little ways you won’t have to make so many massive changes when retirement hits.