Here’s the thing about retirement. It takes planning. It takes money. It requires making some important income decisions, often decisions you’ll live with for the rest of your life.
But it’s not JUST about the numbers.
I’ve noticed some patterns in the years I’ve worked helping people transition into retirement and I’ve come to the conclusion that to retire successfully you also need to have a successful Retirement Mindset. So here’s an important question: What do you plan to DO in retirement?
Many of my clients have taken the first six months of retirement just to decompress. They clean house and catch up on their reading. They babysit their grandchildren. They buy travel trailers and hit the road. They actively pursue hobbies. They avoid doing anything that reminds them of their previous work environment.
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And then they recognize that they feel unfulfilled.
They realize that they have a lot to offer society. They discover they like the intellectual stimulation of associating with other active adults. So they do one of two things. They either find work with charitable organizations that fills their hearts instead of their wallets. Or they find part-time jobs they enjoy and provide some useful income, which they may or may not need.
Interestingly, a total of 65 percent of workers say they plan to work for pay in retirement compared with just 27 percent who report they have actually worked for pay, according to the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates. The top reason is the need to stay active and involved.
Some reconsider their living accommodations. They begin to downsize and research a move to a condo or apartment. Others have their eye on new location, hopefully one for which they’ve researched living conditions and available activities in all four seasons.
Retirement can be a challenging transition when it comes upon you unexpectedly--if you lose your job at a certain age, for example—or even if you’ve reviewed your financial prospects and feel confident about your choice to quit working. But you also need to determine what will fill the vacuum your working life filled, especially if your identity was mainly defined by your job.
A successful retirement requires a plan to spend both your money and your time. Developing a Retirement Mindset can lead you to a much more fulfilling retirement.
Barbara McMahon, CFP®, CMFC®, MBA, is the president of Innovest Financial Partners in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. Securities and Advisory Services offered through a registered representative of Cetera Advisors LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Innovest Financial Partners, Inc. is independent of Cetera Advisors LLC.