What do you think your retirement should look like? Will you be relaxing in a beach chair with a fancy drink in hand? Will you be hitting the greens with your new golf clubs? Or will you stay close to family to help your children and grandchildren? Will you get bored and not know what to do with yourself?
These are all very important questions to ask and answer as you plan for retirement. As I plan for my early retirement, I am starting to do the same things. I know that in order to achieve my goals, I have to visualize them. You should too!
Retirement Planning is Important Financially
Everyone, regardless of age should start planning their retirement now. You may be hesitant to do so right now, but it really does benefit you. Planning your retirement doesn't have to be a single dream. Too many people simplify their retirement and fail to enjoy the depth of retirement. Retirement isn't just about sitting around and not doing anything.
Planning your retirement now is important because when you fail to think about retirement, you put it out of your mind. If you keep postponing your retirement planning, most likely you saving or investing enough money. Odds are that you will either find yourself well under-funded when retirement age creeps up on you, or you will realize this somewhere down the road and be forced to make huge sacrifices later.
If you are NOT planning your retirement, this not only means that you will get to retirement without any money saved, but it also means that you are living at a more expensive lifestyle than you would be if you were saving a larger part of your income. When someone who avoids saving for retirement approaches retirement age, they are forced to radically reduce their cost of living to survive (assuming they are financially able to retire in the first place). By thinking about your retirement now, you give it its due attention. Not only that, but you keep your goals on your mind and it keeps you accountable for achieving your goals without knowing it.
Thinking about Retirement Has More than Just Financial Benefits
While thinking about your lifestyle in retirement will help you be intentional about contributing money towards your retirement, it isn't all about the money. In fact, planning your retirement now can help make the adjustment socially when it comes time to adjust. Switching from working full-time to either not working at all or part-time is a huge transition. Many people struggle with this transition and you should do everything to get used to the idea now.
A coworker of mine, whose husband just retired, talked about how it took him almost two months to find things to fill his time. Prior to establishing new hobbies, he spent his time waiting for his wife to return from work. Part of the day was even spent calling his wife (my coworker) to ask how her day is going. Is that what retirement has become for so many people? Waiting for their spouse to return from work? If this is what retirement is, it's no wonder why people don't think about their retirement…
What does your retirement look like?
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.