There are many opinions as to when is the best time of your life. Is it in high school when you have very little worries, except school and asking your crush to the autumn dance? Is it in your 20s when you are just beginning adulthood? Or, is it when you have done it all and now you can concentrate on doing everything you’ve ever wanted? The results may vary to these questions, and some people may take a long time until they find peace in life.
Whatever the case may be, your winter years the times that you should be satisfying every desire, checking off every item on your bucket list, and doing whatever it is you want to do. Anyone can develop a simple retirement plan as long as you can afford it and you’re in good health.
And that’s where you hit the bump in the road. You can never guarantee that you’ll have plenty of money in retirement, and you cannot know for certain if you’ll be in great health – mentally or physically. So, what should you do? That’s simple: devise a plan now and execute it to the best of your ability.
Here are eight simple retirement home plan rules for peace in life:
1. Create a Blueprint
Creating a blueprint is one of the most important things you need to do on your simple retirement home plan. How do you envision your retirement? Will you park yourself on the beach day after day and drink non-alcoholic strawberry margaritas? Will you backpack across Europe and see the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, and the gothic architecture in Bruges, Belgium? Will you lay on your sofa, binge-watching Turner Classic Movies (TCM) all day, every day?
It is important to create a blueprint of your retirement right now. It doesn’t matter if you’re 23 or 53. It is imperative to map out your retirement, even if it doesn’t go as planned. It’s never too early to have a simple retirement plan in place.
2. Budget Your Future Now
While it is difficult to budget for 10, 20, or 30 years from now, it is still something you should do because it provides you with some sort of idea as to how much you will need to live comfortable in your golden years. So, for instance, if you plan to spend six months in Europe or Asia, then you will need a bit more capital than if you just stayed home all year round and went to the pictures for your excitement and escape.
That said, here are a few recommendations for a simple retirement plan:
- Consider annual two percent inflation levels when calculating.
- Always add a few thousand more to your estimates; if you think you need $250,000 for retirement (inflation included), then it’s more like $325,000.
- Hope for the best, but plan for the worst, such as a financial emergency or an illness.
- Think about a wide variety of scenarios, like a retirement supplemented by a part-time job or maxed out income sources (CPP, GIS, etc.).
3. Pay Off Your Debts
You don’t want to go into retirement with baggage – except baggage used for your trip to Paris or South Africa. In other words, you want to be debt-free once you enter retirement, otherwise you’ll be stuck having to allocate a fifth of your retirement income to service your credit card debt, automobile loan, or even a mortgage.
If you’re on the cusp of retirement, try to obtain a second job just so you can eliminate your debt. Once you pay off your debts, a simple retirement plan is easily on the way and you will be able to achieve some well-deserved peace in life.
4. Max Out Possible Retirement Incomes
How many options do you have in retirement? Well, on a personal level, you can use your RRSP, GIC, TFSA, RIF, workplace pension, and others. You can also apply for government funds, including your Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS),
5. Take Care of Your Health
Do you want to hop on an air balloon in Scotland? Do you want to spend more time with your grandchildren? Do you want to visit every Major League Baseball (MLB) ballpark? Well, in order to do so, then you need to take care of your health today for a better tomorrow. And we’re talking about your body and mind – not one or the other.
Unsure what to do? Here are a few suggestions
- Walk more often, either first thing in the morning or right after your dinner.
- Eat a healthier diet, perhaps incorporating more vegetarian dishes into your meal plans.
- Visit your doctor for regular checkups.
- Ensure that you take all your vitamins on a daily basis.
- Exercise your brain by doing crosswords, reading more books, dabbling in some writing, or playing a musical instrument.
Indeed, if you’re in poor health, then you can’t enjoy your retirement. You don’t want to be stuck in a hospital, do you?
6. Travel When You Can
Oftentimes, life gets in the way of our plans. Simply put, a medical emergency, a financial crisis, or a family instance may get in the way of your retirement plans, including traveling, which is typically the best goal for many retirees.
What should you do? Travel when you can, even if it is a couple of years short of your retirement. You don’t want to regret not seeing Transylvania or Peru before you pass onto the side, right? Well, it would be a wise step to do a little bit of traveling before your full-blown retirement as a just in case measure.
7. Speak with a Financial Advisor
A financial advisor can guide you through this process by working with you and establishing a plan to retire comfortably. This could consist of using the right investment vehicles, tapping into certain government funds, or cashing out at the right time. Be honest with the financial expert and tell them what you want to do. They’ll do their best to ensure you get to do what you want in your senior days.
8. Initiate a Gradual Transition
Finally, you can always partake in a gradual transition into retirement. Rather than quitting work, collecting your gold watch, and sitting at home knowing that Monday is Saturday, Tuesday is Saturday, and Wednesday is Saturday, you can instead reduce your hours at work, using very little of your retirement income, and only cross off a couple of things on your bucket list. This way, you are only turning a page in your book, not a full chapter.
If you’re like many people, then you have saved the best for last. Traveling to Venice, learning a new hobby, sleeping in until noon, eating whatever you want, and concentrating on anything that gives you pleasure. That’s what retirement is all about before you meet your maker. Is it achievable? We like to think so, otherwise the years of sacrificing, saving, and being conservative were for naught.
No matter what, establish a retirement plan now, and then get ready to enact it!