Is It Too Soon To Start Planning My Retirement Strategy?
One of the things you need to consider when you’re a few years shy of turning 60 is retirement. If you’re over 50, it’s time to start planning your retirement strategy. While that may not sound like a fun thing – it’s a good thing.
You’re probably not planning to retire at 60 and most men today work past 65 and into their 70s. But no matter when you plan to retire it will come sooner than you think!
One day you’ll shift from the “waking up at six in the morning” mode to “I can sleep in and live the rest of my life in peace and quiet, on my terms.” Unfortunately, by that time your body will naturally wake up early and won’t let you fall back to sleep. It’s just one of life’s cruel ironies.
Of course, you can’t decide to retire one day and then don’t show up for work the next day. If you intend to retire soon, then now is the best time to start planning for it. Even if you don’t plan to retire anytime int he near future, sooner than later is still the best time to focus on your retirement strategy. These things can sneak up on you like the end of summer. Unless you live in Arizona, where the summer never ends. So here are a few matters you should look into before you retire.
Figuring Out a Stable Source of Retirement Income
Your pension or Social Security benefits may form the basis of your retirement income, but these benefits likely won’t be enough to cover all your expenses. As it turns out, men sometimes spend a lot during their retirement. If you know what I mean! Thus, you’ll probably need another source of income too. Meet with a financial advisor to determine what you can draw from the investments you’ve made in your life. Another option available is to stay employed part-time for the first few years of your retirement, a good way to earn income and transition into retirement mode.
A Budget Will Improve Your Retirement Strategy
If you haven’t already, it’s time to calculate how much you intend to spend after your retirement. Is it going to be a ‘sober’ retirement or are you planning to have the time of your life? It’s best if you make two budgets. Create one for your basic necessities, like food, bills, transport, healthcare, clothing, etc. This will give you an idea of the minimum amount of money you’ll need to get by.
Then create a second budget—your ‘ideal’ budget, and include everything you want to do like traveling, dining out, and other luxuries to see how much this will cost you. If you’re able, it might be wiser to work a few extra years until you can afford the lifestyle you want in retirement.
Manage Your Investments
When your retirement is close, take a good look at your investment strategy. It may be time to manage your investments by transferring your assets into lower risk and lower reward investment options. You can take some risks if you want, but be careful. Any sudden dips in the market can impact your retirement plans.
If you’re retiring at 65, you might qualify for Medicare. But if you’re retiring at a younger age without any banked insurance coverage, then you’ll want to research individual health insurance policies and make sure that you have enough cash flow to cover insurance premiums. Even with Medicare, you’ll probably need or want some level of supplemental insurance.
Going from working full-time for decades into full retirement can be like slamming on the breaks after speeding down the highway. You could spin out of control. It could be the best time of your life or you could wind up missing the life you had. Either way, it’s a big transition.
As you adjust, be sure to get involved in activities that can keep you mentally, physically and socially active in order to avoid feeling depressed and bored. Many retirees sign up for volunteer work to ease into the transition. But first, take some well-deserved time out to relax and envision what you want this next life adventure to look like for you.