I used to work with an elderly colleague at my former place of work and I noticed that he was becoming increasingly withdrawn and anxious.
One day as we were having morning coffee, I asked him what had been troubling him.
He told me he had 2 years left to retirement and he didn’t know what to do after that. You see, he had been working with the company for the last 32 years.
What kind of advice would I give him? I still had years ahead of me before my retirement so, how would I understand what it means to be in his position. I didn’t know what to tell him.
It got me thinking, though. I asked what I will do when I approach my golden years without a solid plan ahead. I would probably be as anxious and withdrawn as he was.
Retirement means different things to different people. For some, retirement means ceasing to work in active employment due to old age or incapacity perhaps due to injury.
For others, it means achieving financial success and stepping out of active employment to pursue their business.
For others still, retirement is a word only to be found in the dictionary and they will keep working until their body tells them times up.
Most people retire around the age of between the ages of 65 to 67.
Concerns of people who are about to retire
People who are approaching retirement have some genuine concerns about the years that lie ahead. It can be a time of uncertainty and so its good to be well informed of what to expect. Here are some them;
Outliving Your Money
The fact is that only a small number of people save diligently for retirement. It’s not also possible to know how many years you will live to, after your retirement.
Even people who have substantial savings sometimes find themselves struggling as they grow older because unless your money is not invested and growing, it tends to run out pretty fast.
Higher Retirement Age
Life expectancy has been going up and so is the retirement age. This means you have to wait longer for social security benefits. People are also opting to extend their age of retirement so as to optimize their income and savings. We now have people working way into their mid-70s.
With old age also comes the challenges of health. The cost of health care has gone up over the years and so many people facing retirement have no guarantee that even some of their most basic health needs will be met.
A 65-year-old person will require over $250 000 to cover medical expenses throughout their retirement.
The cost of inflation can rapidly diminish your purchasing power. $5000 will diminish to around $3800 dollars in value over a ten-year period. That’s why investing your savings is a smarter idea than just keeping in the bank.
What to do as you prepare for retirement
The late Jim Rohn once said;
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.’’
We can talk all day about what to do or not to do in retirement but the basic truth is if you haven’t started planning for your retirement by now, then you are setting yourself up for a life of hardship in the years ahead.
There are no specific rules on what to do in retirement because it all depends on an individual’s circumstances. Unfortunately, 40% of the people going into retirement have no idea of what to do once they are retired.
I will outline some of the things you can do as you prepare for your golden years.
If you have a hobby that you love, that’s great. If you don’t, please pick one up. Especially if it’s something that helps you socialize with others, like joining a book club or art club.
This will help wade off the boredom and keep your mind active. You can also turn your hobby into an income generating venture and supplement your savings.
A lot of complications that many elderly people suffer from can be attributed to the kind of lifestyle they lived when they were younger. Prevention is always better than cure.
Instead of worrying about how you will take care of your medicals in the years ahead, a simple lifestyle adjustment like exercising and eating healthy food or cutting back on alcohol can save you 000’s of dollars in retirement.
There is no substitute for good health. Not even money can replace it, so take good care of your body today and it will thank you in the years ahead.
Easier said than done, right. This could be a tough one for people with low incomes. It’s, however, a good idea to put money aside no matter how little in a fixed deposit account.
Throw in whatever you can in there from time to time. A good rule of thumb is to save a tenth of your income after you have deducted your expenses. You will be better of stepping into retirement with a little saving than without.
Appreciate Your Achievements
You don’t want to step into retirement with feelings of guilt or anxiety. Look back at your life’s achievements and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. True enough we all have things we regret and perhaps given the chance we would make it right.
Don’t preoccupy yourself with what you never achieved or where you failed. Move forward with a positive mental attitude. Appreciate those around you and the many good times you have had together. Your future will be bright.
All your working years shouldn’t just disappear the minute you retire teach others on the skills you have acquired. You will feel better when others benefit from your knowledge. I bet you could even earn money on the side by teaching others. There is always value in adding value to others.
The question was; Is retirement a state of mind. I believe it is. It’s a period of time that comes to us at some stage in our lives. Like going to college or getting married. You have to make adjustments in your new environment but you still remain you!
Why panic about your impending retirement? There are many people who don’t even realize when the cut off age comes for them to hung their boots. That’s the way it should be. Think of going through life without ever having to retire.
I haven’t reached retirement age but at the rate at which these years are flying am not that far away. There is only one way I intend to retire and that is by building an online business. I would highly recommend that you check out this amazing program. Might turn out to be what will keep you financially independent in the years to come.
Take your time and plan beyond the dollars and cents of retirement so that as you make your retirement transition, your body, mind, and spirit are prepared as well for the years that lie ahead.
Many thanks for reading my post. If you have a question or a comment on how retirement is a state of mind, please leave it below. I would love to hear from you.
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