Think about this for a minute. You’ve probably spent months planning a holiday – which lasts for two weeks. You’ve no doubt spent days labouring a menu for a dinner party – that lasts for an evening. But when it comes to planning your retirement – which can last up to thirty years – chances are you haven’t really applied your mind to the financial, emotional, physical and practical realities this time of life brings.
Before leaving work for good, consider these important points.
According to the South African Savings Institute, South Africans spend 72.5% of their income paying off debt. If your retirement scenario means you’ll be drawing an income that’s 75% of what you used to earn, chances are the bulk of your retirement income will go towards paying off bills. It stands to reason that the less debt you have when you retire, the more disposable income you’ll have. In light of this, make a concerted effort to pay off your home loan, car and any credit card debt you might have as quickly as possible.
Plan what you’re going to do with all your time. After a lifetime of hard work, you might expect retirement to be a blissful period of relaxation. But too much time on your hands can become dull and even lonely. Start thinking about a hobby or interest that you would like to pursue. And cultivate new friendships that don’t revolve solely around work by joining clubs or taking a few evening classes.
The best retirement plan involves not just your finances but also ways to stay mentally and physically healthy. Gardening, walking, yoga and eating well are all proven ways to keep in tip-top condition.
At this stage in your life, perhaps the home you’ve lived in for the past ten years is no longer suitable for you. Consider downsizing while you can still manage the move without it being too traumatic. Moving to a smaller home or a 50+ community set-up means you’ll (probably) be freeing up income, reducing your home maintenance bills and surrounding yourself with other mature people who might have similar interests and concerns.
Another practicality to consider is funeral costs. This is vital at any stage of your life as death is an inevitable part of life, but it becomes even more important as we age and our risk of fatal diseases increases. Ensure your family and loved ones aren’t burdened with unexpected costs during their period of grief. For as little as R56 a month, this funeral policy will pay up to R50,000 for funeral experiences. To find out more, call 082 124.