Retirement is often something people look forward to as they reach the end of their working lives. Often, the people who are happiest in retirement are those who’ve thought about what they want in advance and put in place an effective structure for their lives. You might not be retiring just yet, but it’s a good thing to think about what you want and start planning for it.
Here are our three must-dos to help you start planning for a happy retirement…
Create your bucket list
When we work with clients on a retirement plan, we start off by working through the goals that have gone unfulfilled in our clients’ lives to this point. This is our starting point for the ‘bucket list’ of things to work towards in retirement. As an easy step, write down the things you’d really dreamed of doing in retirement. If you’re married or with a long term partner, take time to sit together and have the conversation. This will help you create both individual and shared goals. Having these discussions before your reach retirement will help you build a shared picture of a happy retirement.
Tackle your financial laundry
You know that huge pile of laundry that keeps looking at you? It’s easy to put if off but it always feels better when you’ve sorted it out. Financial ‘housekeeping’ is the same. In retirement, your expenses will change and no amount of textbook ratios will predict with accuracy your monthly outlay.
For now, get a piece of paper with two columns. One for expenses now and one for expenses in retirement. This second column is your best guess. Think about living costs based on mortgage projections, food and bills and any discretionary spend that is likely to be a regular feature of your life in retirement. A good tip is also to include a fund for ‘non-recurring recurring expenses’ – things that aren’t technically regular bills but which in all likelihood will be. For example, when the car lights break before your next service. By planning a little extra budget for these unexpected yet likely forms of expenditure you can help the move into retirement run more smoothly and give you emotional as well as financial security.
Pay someone to put together a plan
Most of the financial questions you will have about retirement are best answered with help from a qualified financial advisor to help navigate you through it. Once you’ve worked through your retirement bucket list, it’s worth getting a well-informed second opinion. At Serenity Financial Planning we believe in not just helping you plan your finances but working through the outcomes you want so that we can help keep you on track. We can work with you to create a fully considered Financial Life Plan that you believe and have confidence in – so that those retirement dreams can be brought to life.