Our business communities are now experiencing more employees who are ready to retire and exiting from their careers. Yet, there are many who are concerned about their financial capabilities. Obviously, there is good reason to be concerned as our economy continues to fluctuate, and there exists lots of unknowns and changes globally.
This is why all of us should approach retirement with a strategic plan and research all aspects involved with the retirement stage of life. Here are some areas and factors to examine/explore when determining when you should retire and what to plan for in your retirement life.
What is a fair estimate of your life expectancy based on family history? This will help you in calculating the resources you will need for retirement.
Where do you plan to live for the majority of your retirement period?
How is your health, and what health issues do you have to consider? Will you require special healthcare or nursing care in the near future that impacts your budget?
How would you like to spend most of your retirement days? Traveling? Purchasing other home locations? Other costly activities?
Do you have the responsibility to care for others?
Other practical financial considerations: increases in utilities, taxes, car repairs, etc.?
As you can see, there are several unknowns, but there are also variable expenses based on how you want to spend your retirement days. It is so important to do in-depth research on anything major, like living in another state or country. Investing in another home in a different country can have surprising consequences. Be sure to check out the “what if’s.” Some countries can have some risky rules and exceptions. In addition, healthcare and medical facilities can be quite different in other countries.
Of course, it is also important to decide if you and/or your spouse/partner plan to work any amount of time after leaving your full-time career. Some find that after a few months of leisure that they want or need some portion of employment. Therefore, you should explore this option prior to retirement and account for this possibility.
The main point is to prepare for those big areas of your daily life and your health when you retire. From the list of how you plan to live your retirement, develop a budget. Also, be sure to discuss this with your spouse/partner in order to have an inclusive and comprehensive budget. These should include frequency of salon appointments to spa days, clothing budget, traveling expenses (i.e. cost of gas, hotel rooms, and eating out), etc.
The more practical and inclusive you are, the better chance of having an accurate budget, and the better prepared you will be. You can always count on some unexpected events and/or expenses that pop up, which is why you should have a reasonable amount of finances tucked away for emergencies. Retirement is a BIG transition, thus it deserves thorough and extensive preparation. By taking ample time for this, you and your loved ones can enjoy this stage of life.
Robyn Crigger is Managing Partner, OI Global Partners – Compass Career Management Solutions in Charlotte, NC. Trained and experienced in various Human Resources areas from assessments to executive coaching, Robyn strives to provide professional assistance to both companies and individuals faced with transitions.