Plan the retirement that works for you

RT Jefferson

You may find yourself thinking you’ve landed your dream job after years of studying, yearning and striving to achieve your goals. You’re inspired and happy and can’t even begin to imagine leaving a career you absolutely love. You may even be thinking you’ll want to work until you’re 80 years old.

Or you may be looking forward to spending your golden years skiing in the Alps and Andes.

Whatever your goals for retirement may be, they represent a future as unique as you are. As you change jobs and grow professionally, you may find yourself with new goals to travel the globe or to fulfill an enthusiasm for sculpting, sailing or scuba diving, and realize that you’d much rather retire to pursue those passions. Right now retirement may be the furthest thing from your mind, but you may find yourself wanting nothing more than to be the childcare provider to your grandchildren while their parents work so you can help them save for their retirement.

You can’t predict what you’ll want in the future. Priorities shift; people change. One fact is certain: Whatever your dream, a strong written retirement income plan can help give you the freedom to pursue it. If you’d like to work until you’re 80, you may do just that.

If you’d prefer to spend your golden years pursuing rediscovered passions, you may be free to indulge in that lifestyle, as well.

Reality Gets in the Way of Plans

Of those who are currently retired, 24 percent stopped working because of circumstances beyond their control (i.e. health issues, downsizing). Also, 63 percent of people age 35 to 44 say if they will have insufficient income for retirement, they’ll retire “later” in life, and 38 percent say they’re willing to supplement their retirement income with part-time work.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that, as people get older, the “retire later” option becomes less appealing. By the time people reach that final decade before traditional retirement, age 55 to 64, the percentage of people who are willing to delay retirement drops to 48 percent. Even part-time work looks less appealing, with less than half (40 percent) saying they’d like to pursue that route.

Again, please consider that your priorities might shift. When your two best friends are retiring next March and planning a six-month trip to Europe together, spending another year without the flexibility to join them might start to look less interesting. That’s why you should focus on amassing income for what’s next … whether your reason for retiring is hiking the Appalachian Trail, spending more time with your family, or switching to a career role that offers less pay but more fulfillment.

The more prepared you are for retirement, the more excited you’ll be for what’s next in your life. Creating a written retirement income plan is a key element to preparing. The numbers are clear; of those who have developed a written retirement plan, 90 percent are confident with it and 90 percent are happy with it.

Lowering Stress

Most people believe that people with money are relaxed and people with tight budgets are stressed. To some extent, that may be true, but existing savings is only one piece of the puzzle. People with a written retirement income plan are more likely to feel knowledgeable, happy and confident about their path to retirement.

As mentioned earlier, developing a plan will likely make you feel better about retirement. When you feel comfortable that you have a plan for retirement income, you can focus on the type of retirement planning that you’ll enjoy.

Creating a written retirement income plan may seem challenging. You may not know where to start or what kind of plan will be best for you. Just the thought of developing a written retirement income plan can raise stress levels. However, help is readily available. I can help you get started and re-evaluate your plan along the way. It will likely help you feel less stressed about the process and your retirement plan as a whole.

Whether you are 25 or 45, it’s never too early or too late to put a plan in motion. Contact me and I’ll help you get to the retirement you want for yourself.

RT Jefferson