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What do we have to know about retirement?

Retirement is not a one-time event; it is a new phase of life.

Maybe we should never retire, or at least not in the traditional sense. Retirement should be seen as an opportunity to adopt a flexible lifestyle. It is an opportunity to start an alternative or second career without worry, or maybe continue with your current employer on a contract basis, or make a positive contribution to your community. Financial concerns should not ruin this well-deserved phase of your life.

During this phase you can search for what is important to you, how you can make a difference and how you can influence others positively. You can decide how you want to see this phase play out.

To get to this exciting stage of your life you don’t necessarily need the cheapest “vehicle” – one that will give you the best value in the long term might be the most logical option. The vehicle must also be serviced regularly by a mechanic that is reliable and knowledgeable. If not, you might not reach your planned destination and phase of retirement. Also think of the number of years that you invest in a retirement portfolio compared to the number of years that you have to rely on this portfolio to provide an income for you. It is important, because inflation is the biggest enemy of retired people and must not be ignored or underestimated.

You can also only worry about your financial needs if you know how you are going to approach your retirement. Some of the more important considerations are:

  • What will get you out of bed in the morning if you do not have to be on time for work?
  • Will you be working part-time?
  • Will you be looking after grandchildren/elderly parents?
  • Or will you be travelling the world?
  • Or maybe take up a hobby/~ies?

It would be wise to work out the “why” early in life which will then lead you to the type of retirement you need to plan for.

Your health

Being ready for retirement can be the difference between enjoying your golden years or many miserable years, with subsequent unwanted mental and/or physical health issues. If you have slipped on your diet and exercise program during your working years, it is not too late to get back into healthy habits. Even just taking a daily walk or a low impact exercise class has many benefits – now and in later years when you want to enjoy your retirement.

Your financial legacy

Instead of focusing on leaving assets to your children and therefore pursuing a financially conservative lifestyle, you should rather channel funds into experiences or purchases that make yóú happy. Your responsibility to your children is that you give/have given them love and a good education. Other than this you have no responsibility to them. Use your money to visit them and spend time with them, rather than holding on to your money because you want to leave something for them when you die.

 

Eben Jacobs

eben@bvsa.co.za

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