By Hassan Kitenda
As you wake up in the morning rush to drop off the kids at school, dash to work, or rush home in the evening to make a meal, retirement may seem a far-off reality. But time always moves faster than we expect. You may remember your first paycheck clear as day, but will be shocked to realize that your retirement has rolled around so quickly.
When it comes to retirement, most people find themselves either having to regret all the past money mistakes during their earlier years or on track to enjoy the retirement they’ve always envisaged. The unpleasant truth is most of us would rather not discuss retirement planning. The idea of retirement might seem too far away to be relevant for some, others think that they can work forever. Chances are, you don’t want to work a full-time job way into your 80’s. But here is the thing those who envisage having a happy retirement have a plan in place. They take time to think about what kind of future they want. Retirement is a chance to do more of what you enjoy.
Retirement planning is the process of determining the retirement income goals and the necessary actions taken to achieve those goals. Simply put it means preparing today for your future life so that you continue to meet all your goals and dreams independently. This includes setting your retirement goals, estimating the amount of money you will need, and investing to grow your retirement savings. Every retirement plan is unique. After all, you may have very specific ideas on how you want to spend your retired life. This is why it’s important to have a plan that is designed specifically to suit your individual needs.
It should be known that retirement planning requires a proactive approach. The earlier you prepare for retirement the better off you will be in the future. In this day and age, it’s imperative to have a retirement plan so that you can stay financially independent thus relieving your children from potential financial responsibility, with retirement planning in hand an individual can deal with any type of emergency or uncertainties post-retirement. With an increase in age, general health problems, as well as lifestyle alignments, start catching up with us hence proper planning can help cover those expensive costs, furthermore on cannot work forever as you age, you’re going to slow down and certain tasks will become more difficult.
Before choosing a plan, you must, first, identify your retirement goals. Arrange these into the short, medium and long term you should ask yourself what your retirement dream is. Invest for the long term always remember that investing is a marathon and not a sprint. Determine your retirement spending needs, having realistic expectations about post-retirement spending habits will help you define the required size of a retirement portfolio.
Retirement is meant to be an enjoyable experience where you slow down and enjoy your golden years. However, it is quite common for people to sabotage their golden years by derailing their retirement plans.
There are plenty of ways you can sabotage your retirement plan, from starting to save too late in life to withdrawing money too early, choosing the wrong asset allocation, taking an improper amount of risk or using expensive investment products, relying on Social Security. Lastly failing to diversify their retirement portfolio, diversification is one of the biggest keys to a financially successful retirement.
Hopefully, your retirement will mark the beginning of many new experiences but, like most money conversations, talking about retirement is not a one-time event but a whole period of your life made up of different stages. Retirement doesn’t have to be scary. Research all your options, enlist the help of financial professionals. Then, you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy your golden years with peace of mind.
Hassan Kitenda is an Investment analyst
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