by Daniel Foran
How to Plan for Retirement and Simulate a Test Drive
There are a multitude of reasons why people who are eligible to retire are hesitant to do so. Some people think they need to wait until they are 65 or older. They are worried about running out of money. Many pre-retirees want to keep supporting their children through some of life’s major transitions, like college, marriage or buying or renovating a first home.
Maybe the most common reason we see for a delay in retirement is the inability to imagine life without work. This routine that has sustained you and your family for 30 or 40 years can be a hard routine to shake, but your retirement doesn’t have to be all or nothing right away. If just thinking about retiring makes you jittery, use these tips to ease into retirement a little at a time.
1. Schedule a Family Meeting
An essential first step to approaching retirement is clear and open communication. Be as honest as possible about your feelings. What are your worries about retirement? What excites you? What do you envision your days being like? Where do you want to live? Also, what does your spouse want in retirement, and are you aligned?
2. Have a Conversation With Your Employer
Many companies have programs that are established to help employees transition into retirement. You might be able to trim back your hours gradually to get an idea of what your retirement will be like. You’re also going to want to double-check on any retirement benefits. Discuss all outstanding projects with your supervisor. Make a plan to finish what is important to you so that you may leave your job feeling accomplished.
If you’re self-employed, give your favorite employee (you) less hours and fewer clients! Review and update your succession plan if necessary. Start giving the future-new-boss more of your responsibilities. Make sure you have the absolute best people working for you in all key-leadership positions. This will give your company the best chance of prospering without your daily involvement.
3. Draft a Sample of Your Weekly Retirement Schedule
Pinpoint your passion. What are some hobbies that you have thought about developing into a skilled craft? Do you want to get serious about working the kinks out of your golf swing or take that quilting class now that you have the time? Are there household projects, repairs or upgrades you want to tend to? Is there a clever idea you kicked around that you would like to build into a new company? Maybe there is a part-time job or volunteer position with an organization that is important to you? There are often new things to try, new places to explore or grandkids to visit.
Remember, you don’t have to get your schedule right the first time! Retirement will involve some trial and error – it’s only natural! Learn from things you don’t like and make a point to focus on doing the things you do. Try filling out a calendar with some of your answers to these questions. As you start to scale back your work hours, take a few lessons or volunteer shifts. Sign up for a class. Leave town for a long weekend.
4. Finally, Review Your Finances
We can help with all aspects of this test drive!
Once you and your spouse have a shared vision for retirement, we can help you create a financial plan to help ensure you are financially fit for the next phase in life: Retirement! We will go through your various sources of income, retirement accounts, pensions, savings and other investments to lay out a projection of where your money is coming from and where it will be going.
Start here, we can help! You don’t have to face retirement alone and make big decisions without professional guidance. So if you are dreaming of those days when work is a distant memory, contact us and we can help you through this exciting next phase of life.
Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James.