Retirement Planning gets bad press.The consequences is that a majority of 45 to 64 year-old Australians have entered the land of denial when it comes to this issue. And there semms little to get them out of denial when most retirement planning information is full of references to aged care, going grey, becoming dependent, and dying. Cliched photographes of grey haired couples drinking lattes or walking hand-in-hand on the beach suggest singles don't matter, and happily retired couples just play.
How does this affect you? If you're feeling fit, healthy and happy to work for a few more years at least - can't your retirement planning wait? Bad idea !
It would be a mistake to allow these out-dated notions of retirement planning turn you off. There is now sufficient research to prove that those with a clear sense of direction for their later years, and intentions of active social engagement, intergenerational connections, and life-long learning, will be clearly ahead. But these positives don't just fall into your lap the day after you leave full-time work they need to be created. The good news is that it's not all hard work. When retirement planning becomes life planning it is a challenging, fun and fulfilling task.
Positive planning is based on the recognition that leaving full-time employment is a great opportunity to enter a new, and very rewarding, life stage. It's all about starting, not stopping. Until now you may have been working, paid or unpaid, to full fill obligations to other people, or to pay off motgage, raise and educate children, put food on the table. Now you are entering a time when it will be your turn to be who or what you're always wanted to be, devoting more time and energy to fullfilling life goals you've always longed to achieve, but have been simply too busy to contemplate. These goals are as individual as you are - some high achievers will have a list of 100 - others will be happy to work at one particular task, such as organising the family snapshot, or creating a vegetable garden. It's entirely personal.
Four steps to get you started
To plan successfully, you will need to:
Clarify your issues and goals
Benchmark your current position
Convert your goals into a plan
Convert this plan into achievable steps
Those used to setting and meeting business deadlines will be familiar with such a program. But it can be much easier to plan objectively when business targets are involved, than when considering personal objectives. The First concern is often, ''But i don't really know what i want to do...''.
You're not alone
Not knowing how you might fill 50 hours a week if you cease fulltime work too abruptly can be major issue. This is why a staged transition to retirement is usually the best strategy, cutting back to three days a week, and then fewer days as time, and income demands, change. But continuing with part-time work may not be an option for everyone who wants it, despite the avowed skills shortage seeking new directions can also be frightening - some people thrive upon change, others are unsettled by it.
How can you ascertain how you will want to spend your extra time?
First, you need to know yourself. Who are you, where are you at, waht sort of roles do you currently play? Whats good, bad, or just okay about your existence? Where would you like to be in five years time? How do you really want to use your energy and time? To balance the different aspects of your life?
Still uncertain? Why not talk to us to get you going. There is no magic age to get started. The best time to start is NOW.