Three Signs that You Need to Think Differently About the Future by Robin Trimingham
It’s mid-August here on the island, and unlike the rest of the world who make New Year’s resolutions in January, I prefer to do my forward planning at the end of the summer so that I have plenty of time to prepare for changes that I’m going to make and projects that I’m going to work on in advance of the new year, as well as taking time out to do some long range thinking and planning for the future. Rather than viewing this as a scary, pointless or boring exercise, I believe that the future belongs to those who prepare for it. With that in mind, here are the top three signs that it might be time to think about your future, or retirement differently:
You Have Been Grazing with The Herd
It has always struck me as odd that most people just follow the herd when it comes to things like resolutions, retirement and future planning. Just because most people “normally” retire at age 65, why do a lot of us never take the time to consider when the best time to retire really would be?
Depending where you live, it might be possible to take early or late retirement from your current position and start claiming retirement benefits as early as age 55 or as late as age 70, and then continue to work for pay for another employer. Why is this still a relatively uncommon phenomenon? Are you sure that retiring at age 65 makes emotional, financial and personal development sense?
You Have Been Avoiding Thinking about Retirement Because You Feel Powerless
Regardless of what age you would prefer to be when you retire, a lot of companies still have mandatory retirement age limitations in place. Knowing that you must leave your current position may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Rather than resigning yourself to being “put out to pasture” why not view your upcoming retirement date the same way you would if it was the date that you were embarking on the trip of a lifetime? Instead of avoiding thinking about it, why not spend your time researching options for places you can go, things you can try, or even new types of work that you might do?
You Have No Idea What Your Future Income Will Be
When we are employed most of us are keenly aware of what our monthly income is, and what pay raises, bonuses or extra income we might gain access to in the future; but when it comes to our retirement we wear blinders and are financially clueless. We make mandatory government and employer pension contributions and save what we can often without a “retirement income goal” in mind, let alone any concept as to whether we are on track to achieve this goal when we do leave our place of employment. Why don’t you take the time to figure out what your monthly retirement expenses are likely to be, and do enough research to figure out what your retirement monthly income might look like now while you still have some time to make some lifestyle and spending adjustments to bring your projections in line with your goals?
By Robin Trimingham