People have all sorts of different retirement situations and scenarios. However, when it all boils down, there are often certain commonalities between average people’s retirement planning. And talking about these factors can open up a healthy dialogue regarding your retirement future. With family members or friends, whether you choose to act on their advice and ideas or not, talking though some of these constants can help clarify the retirement planning process.
Talking about the timeline for retirement – whether your 25 or 65 – can provide greater clarity to your financial planning. From determining the number of years you want to build your retirement funds, to deciding at what age you’d like to retire and how long your retirement funds must last, laying out that timeline is something that most future retirees must contemplate at some point. Discussing these issues earlier rather than later can help avoid potentially costly delays in a planning timeline and help get an earlier start on retirement preparations.
As retirement nears, things like signing up for Medicare and Social Security, determining how much might be drawn down from various retirement income sources, finding a retirement living location, and similar aspects might be added to such a timeline.
Income vs. expenses
Understanding your retirement income compared to your expenses can be a critical aspect upon which the success of your retirement future hinges. Sitting down and outlining not just some but all of your income sources and expense outflows can provide a clearer indication of where you stand in your retirement planning. There might be costs that your spouse encounters that you don’t and vice versa. Your spouse’s Social Security or pension might be significantly more or less than yours.
Understanding and talking about these differences ahead of retirement may help you avoid costly setbacks after you’ve already made the transition.
Goals and fulfillment
Personally, I’m often interested in what people plan to do with their time once they retire. Having made the move into self-employment in which I work from home, I realize just how difficult having an open schedule and being isolated for large periods of time can be. How to fill downtimes, how to get social interaction away from a workplace, how to set goals and maintain structure in an unstructured environment, and finding ways to achieve fulfillment are all things that might be difficult from someone transitioning from a job or career into retirement.
Looking at and discussing with a friend(s), family member(s), or significant other how you will spend your time in retirement, what you’d like to achieve, and how you’d like to achieve it (i.e. where you’d have to live, how much you’d have to spend) can help ensure you’re not left bored and unfulfilled in your golden years.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.