One of the most significant transitions in your life is about to begin. In a blink of an eye, you have reached your 60s. Retirement may not be a pressing concern for most of your working life, but it is surely happening soon.
The sense of urgency stimulates your awareness. You will begin to pay close attention to insurance commercials and to the company’s retirement benefits. You will go through your CPF savings and analyze whether it is enough. How about your investments? Is your money invested on an aggressive portfolio or not? More importantly, do you have a last will and testament?
Many of us consider retirement as a vague and seemingly distant concept rather than something happening in the near future. With this mindset, you may not be able to prepare well it. Use the last five years to examine your financial situation. Make the appropriate moves to substantially improve your life during retirement.
CLOCK: FIVE YEARS BEFORE RETIREMENT
There is no doubt in the saying: “the first cut is the deepest”. You can call it a rude awakening, but this initial step will dictate your future actions. Examine your overall financial situation.
Be honest with yourself. How much have you saved up while you were working? Do you have other streams of income that can generate enough cash to cover your fixed expenses in retirement? How much can your CPF cover?
I understand the brewing worries tied up to these numbers. It is time to face your fears! Know that there is still time to change your investment strategies, to eliminate unnecessary expenses, and to re-frame your retirement expectations. Seek the help of a qualified financial adviser who specializes in retirement planning. He or she can sort out all your concerns including the making of you last will and testament.
CLOCK: THREE YEARS BEFORE RETIREMENT
While work can be stressful, it can also give a sense of accomplishment. What will happen once it is taken from you?
Aside from organizing your financial plans during retirement, you must determine how you will occupy your time. Many of us forget this aspect of aging. It is important to contemplate on how you will occupy yourself in retirement. Consider the Psychological or emotional impact of not having a steady job or not having a routinely “purpose”. Your feelings may be similar to undergoing loss.
Yesterday, my grandfather told us that he is planning to travel overseas. He wants to dedicate this time of solitude on searching for peace and happiness. This may sound cliché to some, but he never had the time to travel on his own. You may want to spend your retirement touring the world. Like my grandfather, consider what will bring you happiness.
Do not be afraid to explore hobbies or join social group within your neighborhood. These things will keep engaged once you are retired.
CLOCK: A YEAR BEFORE RETIREMENT
During this time, your primary goal is to cut down your debts and spending. This is where your retirement budget comes in handy!
You will probably experience a considerable drop in income once your paychecks go away. Following this logic, your retirement expenses should not necessarily mirror your current expenses. You need to adjust your lifestyle following a monthly budget that will include costs like healthcare and leisure activities. Know how much you can realistically afford with the help of your financial adviser.
Lastly, you must take a look at your investment portfolio. If your savings appear to deliver the income you need in retirement, some experts recommend to pull back on your stocks. Use this money to invest on short-term investments or other conservative asset classes. I am not saying that you should suddenly become a risk-averse investor. Instead, you need to make more calculated moves. Growing your portfolio over the next couple of decades entails exposure to stocks.
Ultimately, preparing for retirement will support the remaining years of your life.
Source: NY TIMES