- Family and Parenting
Retirement - 1
Retirement - 1
“Think Positive Be Positive” and you will reach the peak of success. This is the unwritten motto of the human life.
Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it”. So do not limit your dream to a mediocre level. Go for the highest of the heights and you will reach there.
Planning for Retirement
A ‘Plan’ is required for the success of every project. Be it a car, a building, a road, a factory, a business, almost everything must be planned. A retirement is no different and if properly planned you will have great life in retirement also.
Isolation and Loneliness
Isolation and loneliness in retirement are the heaviest psychological burdens in a person’s life. It creates instability of mind and brings an early onslaught of the deadliest degenerating disease Alzheimer. Discovering new and satisfying ways of enjoying life should be given high priority, even before the retirement, to avoid the isolation and loneliness. It is for this reason that it is absolutely necessary to put so much importance on positive retirement planning.
Have you Planned for Retirement?
But have you ever thought of planning for retirement or the rest of life after retirement ? Except for the people who sell retirement real estate there are no consultants for planning for the rest of your life. Some scattered literature is available but hard to find.
For most people retirement is a time for relaxation. Do what you like or don’t do anything. Good habits, good hobbies are difficult to cultivate like organic farming or a vegie patch in the backyard. But bad habits grow like mushrooms and weeds. They can ruin your health, make your life miserable and shorten it.
Planning for a healthy life is more important than planning for a healthy finance. No amount of finance can help you if you ruin your health; but with good health even a small finance can make you live happily.
Retirement is Compulsary
In everybody’s life the time of retirement comes. In simple term, the retirement means ‘to be free from income generating activity’. There may be retirement from social or religious activity, but that is not the subject of this discussion. Some retirement is compulsory by law of the government or rule of the company by which a person is retired from the job at a particular age. For people in business or self employed tradesmen the time of retirement mostly comes when they are physically and/or mentally incapable of performing the required routine work, alternatively they may have planned their early retirement.
After The Retirement
The early days of retirement can be a challenging time, especially when work finished abruptly like having been relieved from a job at the end of a month. Suddenly the income, personal identity and the status one enjoyed has been removed. Quite commonly the people first time in their life find a lot of free time and do not know what to do with it. They may be at a loss to find any appealing activities to occupy their mind and time in this new found leisure.
To remain mentally healthy one must avoid being isolated and lonely and for that must take active interest in family and social activities. If they withdraw on the pretence of being physically incompetent then they face increased danger of being socially isolated and loneliness and becoming mentally unhealthy. It is important for older people to recognise this danger and work hard to maintain a personally satisfying style of life.
When will you Retire ?
If you wish you can decide and plan when and how you will retire instead of letting others to dictate. For most people retirement starts when they are relieved from the job and for some at the age when they qualify to be called senior. Some western countries give ‘Age Pension’ after being senior. However, I have known people who have planned to retire as early as at the age of 50 and have successfully done so.
If you really want your retirement life to be happy then you must plan ahead. Make changes in your life style while you have the physical strength and mental ability to make changes and adapt to it.
How to Live :
Your present life style, your choice of your life style in retirement is the key to your happiness in your retirement. To some extent, your savings, your resources will dictate the quality of your life style. You will have to plan how much you can spend every month or every year and make adjustments accordingly in how you live and what you do. Most important thing to keep in mind is that you must keep active and healthy. You must indulge into only those activities and hobbies which you really enjoy and not get dragged into something which in the end only makes you miserable. For an example, if you think you will enjoy lawn bowls then don’t go playing golf just because your friend says that it gives more walking exercise.
While relaxing after physical exertion, you may cultivate some mind exercise hobby. This may be reading, writing, word puzzles, Sudoku, mathematical, etc.
How much you need ?
After retirement how much money will you need ? Here also the question arises how long further will you live ? Another 10, 20, 30, 40 or more ? Your money has to last that long but you do not know how long that is.
It all depends upon the lifestyle you wish to have in retirement. Your saving is the difference between your earning capacity and your spending habit. Saving is directly proportional to the earning capacity and inversely proportional to your spending habit. Therefore your lifestyle in retirement will be what your saving can allow you to have.
How much is enough ?
Put a limit or draw a line on how much money you need for retirement.
What you could not achieve in 40 years of active life, you can’t do in ten years of old age. Keep away from temptetions offered by conmen to ‘double’ your saving. More likely you will end up with ‘nothing’
After retirement the income stops. Your income is now what you get from the investment of your savings plus, if you are eligible, a government pension or social security. Here is the catch twenty two situation. If you are eligible to government assistance, it also means that your own savings are not enough for you to continue to live in the lifestyle that you may be used to !
Have you planned Your Finances ?
The Government started the compulsory Superannuation to ensure that you have some saving to support you in the retirement. But have you been saving any additional amount ? Because the money in the super at the time of retirement may not be enough to support a life style of your choice.
If you have some saving in the bank you will probably read some books or consult a financial planner and get advice about how to best invest or look after your hard earned saving. As a rule of thumb you may be advised to distribute it in shares, real estate, bonds and short term fixed deposits. This gives you the flexibility of being able to excess small amounts of money at short notice in case of emergency requirements and at the same time increase your saving due to appreciation in the value of your investment. Usually it is believed that when share market goes down the property market goes up and vice versa. So what you lose in one you may gain in another. However there are always exceptions and one must stay alert. In times of recession, cash is the king.
Our life expectancy is increasing as medical science makes advances in protecting us from the killer diseases and physical degenerating conditions. We live longer and healthier than our forefathers and achieving an age of 100 years does not seem to be an unachievable dream any more. So longer you continue to generate savings more resources you will have for enjoying the rest of your life.
However, consider ‘How much is enough?” Don’t drag yourself in earning beyond your retirement age. What you could not earn in your hay days you cannot earn in your retirement. So be happy with what you got and plan the finances for the rest of your life accordingly. Also talk to your family, discuss with them your options. After all, they will be there to give you a helping hand if you slip on a banana skin.
Consider also that your personal expenses are likely to increase as you add years to your life. Although the medical science helps you live longer, it cannot stop the degeneration of your body. You will have more visits to the doctor, more tests, more medicine and at times some hospitalisation. Hospital care can be free from the government but there is always a delay due to waiting list and private health cover becomes expensive as you grow old. In playing the game of “my health is more important than the money” many will wipe off their total savings in health care before the end of the life leaving nothing for their loved ones.
.Where to Live ?
If you are living in cold climate zone and you have arthritis problem then moving to warmer climate is recommended. Like, in Australia, people living in Melbourne move to Brisbane or people living in north of France move to south of France near warmer mediterranean area. However, this sort of movement is not always possible and sometimes to remain close to the children also dictates decision.
Where will you live ?
First question after retirement comes up is “Do we continue to live where we are or we change places?”
If you intend to continue to live in your present house that is fine too. But do make the changes in the structure of the house, for instance wheelchair excess to all parts, bedroom downstairs if it is a two story house, trim-line the gardening so you do not have to rely upon outside help, size of the car, etc.
If you are planning to downsize to a smaller house or an apartment or move into a retirement village, then think and plan carefully.
Downsizing from a 40sq. 10 room house to a small 10sq. 2BR house in a retirement village or an 8sq. 2BR apartment is considered an ideal choice.
(See my article http://pravinvaghani.hubpages.com/hub/Retirement-Village)
But all that you have collected in your large mansion isn’t going to fit in your small new home. You will have to sell it, distribute it to the children, give it away to charity or may be some even throw it away.
This requires an enormous amount of physical strength and psychological adjustment. So earlier in the life you do, better it will be for you.
In Australia during the last three decades, retirement villages are springing up like mushrooms on a heap of compost in a wet and warm season. Retired people are moving out of their 40sqs, 10 rooms mansions and downsizing by moving into 2Br homes in a Retirement Village. Larger the village, more facilities it offers. Of course, more facilities come with more expenses.
Life in a retirement village or home can be good, happy and enjoyable if you find the one that suits your mental, social and cultural requirement. For western cultured people this is an ideal place and they have plenty of choices – from one star to 5 star quality retirement places. For an Indian vegetarian retiree even the best of the western style retirement home may be in-acceptable. They have to either be happy living independently in an ordinary house or apartment or make adjustment and live in a western style retirement place.
Retirement Apartments Vegetarian
Or a few likeminded friends can get together and create a “Co-operative Community Living” similarly to that of a dream apartment building like Jeevan Dhara.
Remember Walt Disney said “If you can dream it, you can do it” He dreamed of a place where children can have ‘unlimited, unrestricted’ entertainment; you can see the result of his dreaming. He did not have even enough money. He was working with borrowed money on a borrowed land !
So why not dream of a retirement place of your own choice and make your retirement life heavenly?
See my dream in article: