5 reasons why you need good plans for your retirement

Helpful idea. Smiling senior man suggesting his beloved grandson the next possible move while the boy playing a chess game with his charming sister

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‘Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities,’ says Gloria Steinem. ‘Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.’ What’s your dream for your retirement.

How will you make that dream a reality? What’s your plan?

Here are five reasons why you need good plans

1. Finances for the future need a plan

We all know that finances are important, but, for some: it’s too easy to put it off; to think that we will somehow survive; that there will be a windfall; to depend on an inheritance that may not come until later than you expect.

Without having enough income you’ll probably be eligible for some form of government pension, but it’s only a safety net. It’s only there to help you survive.

Good plan: Search out a financial advisor who understands you and can help you create a plan to get the best out of your finances for retirement. Do it early and it will be easier to build a bigger retirement nest egg.

2. You can easily lose control of your life

‘Making no plans, or bad plans, means reduced control over our lives and . . . this is a huge threat to successful ageing,’ says Marcus Riley in Booming.

And he adds this warning: ‘The life of a person without a plan is compromised and we can find ourselves in a less than ideal state of body and mind, lonely, struggling for funds, unable to tap into passions, and living somewhere where we become miserable.’

Good plan: Begin to think now about what you want to achieve in retirement. Then work on the plan to make it happen.

3. You may live longer than you think

Old age is nothing new. Back in the first century, Pliny wrote about people he knew who lived long. His list included the consul M Valerius Corvinos (at 100 years); Cicero’s wife (103); a woman named Clodia (115); and the actress Lucceia who performed on the stage at 100 years old.

But they were the exception, not the rule. Wikipedia will tell you that ‘perhaps’ half of Romans died by the age of 5 and, if they survived to 10, only half of them could expect to live to 50.

Now, centuries later, the likelihood is that we who live in the West could reach our 80s. That can mean a long time retired.

Good plan: Think about what you’ll do if you were to live to 85. Start with how you would like to be remembered.

4. You need to dream

Steinem is right. We do need to dream.

Why should dreams be limited to the younger years? Why not a dream for retirement? And it could include education and work and strengthening relationships. But what about that novel that’s in you or learning that instrument or that travel or . . . ?

Don’t stop dreaming. Save that for when you stop breathing.

Good plan: Dream! What is it that you want to achieve in retirement. What steps can you make now that will help you be able to do that? Is there a course or skill you need to develop? Now’s a good time to work it out.

5. The rocking chair is not a plan

Wanting to relax in retirement is fine. But not all the time. What’s the point?

The point here is that life is meant to be lived. And lived to the full. Yes, age slows us down. Yes, there will be times when we want to relax in the rocking chair. And, yes, we don’t want to get back into the rat-race.

But a full life is an involved life that brings personal satisfaction and achievement.

Good plan: Not sure what to do? Try the 1/2 + 1 + 5 strategy. Make a plan for your first half year (six months) of retirement. Add a plan for your first year. Then think five years ahead.

What retirement possibilities are you excited about? What’s your plan to make them happen?

 

Bruce Manners is the author of Retirement Ready? and Refusing to Retire, and founder of RetireNotes.com

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Category: Attitude, Planning, Purpose

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