When talking about retiring from your job in the future, you might be considering the financial aspects. You ask, “How much cash and investments do I need to fund my retirement and continue to live the same lifestyle?”
In reality, that’s not the only question you should be asking yourself if you want to make a successful transition to retirement.
One question to consider is when should I retire? The questions below may help you decide when and what you will do before and after retirement.
Your current job may become a part of your past. What does your future hold? The future can be something new and exciting and should be part of your goals moving forward.
Will your plan become a different type of job or hobby that will get you up every day and help you get excited about the day?
Here are some questions you should be asking yourself.
How do you strengthen your marriage or other close relationships now that you have more time to focus on them?
Do you want to continue the relationships you have with your current co-workers? If so, how will you connect with them outside of work or is that even possible with their busy lives?
How do you make new friends? Will you try new activities where you can meet new friends?
Strong relationships as mentioned above are important because they keep you mentally stimulated and give you support from other individuals.
Stay active, mobile and healthy
Your plan has to have goals to help you stay active, mobile and healthy. These goals will help you live longer and be happy.
Do you want to participate in 5K walks, exercise classes, yoga or tai chi?
Activities like these will keep you limber enough to walk during your travels or play on the ground with your grandkids.
How do you handle free time?
Are you looking forward to having time to read, travel or take naps? Or, is that only good for a couple of weeks or months before you get tired of the new routine?
To avoid getting bored, you might consider planning on doing something that you have always wanted to do and didn’t have the time or money to do it.
You could write down short and long-term goals, and set out to accomplish them with your new found free time.
Take a look at the financial aspects of retirement.
This is an important step in your plan but, again, it’s not the only one. After you decide what all of your goals are for retirement, take a realistic look at what your income and expenses will be after you retire.
Most people assume that their income and expenses will go down upon retirement but that is not always the case which is why you need to look at the numbers. Between IRAs, 401(k) plans, pensions and Social Security, your income could be approximately the same.
Total expenses could be similar after you retire but they may be different categories of expenditures such as travel, eating out more, and hobbies.
Before signing up for Social Security, you should explore the options you have in regard to what age you should be when you start taking the benefits.
Other things you should consider in the conversation with your financial planner or CPA include the possibility of living 25 to 35 years after retirement. Do you need to plan for additional medical expenses during that time along with other expenses in your plan?
Do you need money set aside for an emergency plan?
Making a plan before you retire will help you make a better transition to retirement.
Do you really want to retire?
One last question. In doing all of this planning above, take some time to consider if you really want to retire.
Many older adults are having fun at their jobs. Work keeps them engaged, creative, social, and energized, and they really don’t want to retire. For them, working less hours and mixing in retirement activities such as travel, hobbies, or visiting grandchildren makes much more sense. Is that what you want?
In the past, retirement started at age 65 mostly because of Social Security but now people have choices. You can choose what age you want to retire. Is it 65 or 85? Just make your plan to help you decide.
Watch for the next two articles of our column. We’ll continue the discussion of different aspects of retirement.
By MARCIA CAMPBELL | Contributing columnist with THE PRESS ENTERPRISE
PUBLISHED: November 3, 2018
Marcia L. Campbell, has worked as a CPA for over 25 years specializing in seniors, trusts, estates, court accountings and probate litigation support. You can reach her at Marcia@MCampbellCPA.com