According to a Gallup poll, the average age for people in the U.S. to retire is now 61. This age is increasing and more and more people believe they will be working longer. Some because they have to, some because they want to. However, as business executives transition into retirement, many are contemplating some big questions. Below are 4 tips as you peer towards retirement.
1. Define what retirement looks like:
This is when you buy a vineyard. Yes, a vineyard. Although the famous Charles Schwab commercial quips at the crazy dreams now dashed by the financial crisis, this is the most important piece of retirement planning. Don’t just define what you want financially, but also mentally and spiritually. Think about some of the work relationships you would like to keep after you stop going to the office and plan how to keep them. It’s like brainstorming. Write everything down and then prioritize. Not only will you have a good visual of what you want your retirement to be, but you will have a stake in it because you created that view.
2. Take stock of your assets:
The financial assets you have will be easiest to identify. Write them down, aggregate statements, and create a balance sheet. If you have a hard time doing this, get assistance from a financial planner. Also, write down other assets that are important to you. These are your hobbies, your passions, and your relationships. Do you like to cook, but don’t have the time? Do you like to garden, travel, read books? Your most precious asset throughout your life has been time, and until now you have deployed that toward your career. Utilize this asset to expand other areas of your life.
3. Create a plan:
It is very common in my family to have someone repeatedly ask you, “What’s the plan?” HAVE ONE!!! You have defined your goals, taken stock of your assets (financial and non-financial), now create a plan to retire the way you want. If you need help, get help, it’s worth it! Also, be prepared to alter your plan as necessary. Inevitably, something will come up that will cause you to make adjustments. Simply repeat steps 1 through 3; redefine, take stock, and re-plan.
There are many things in life we cannot control and they can be frustrating at times. As I have watched people enter retirement, the ones that get the utmost satisfaction from each and every day are the ones who take time to enjoy – whether they sit on a porch and read books, or travel the world. Your attitude, not your net worth, defines your enjoyment.