Seniors Strategic Plan for Retirement

by R Long
November 03, 2016

Retirement Dreams

Individuals of all ages need to consider and plan for retirement.  You are never too young or too old to prepare for retirement. Starting early will yield the best results but starting to plan now is better than not planning at all. If you are a senior and already in retirement, hopefully, you have planned for this day. However, things never turn out the way you want them to.  You can only prepare for the worst and hope that your planning is enough. You do not want to see your hopes suffer due to a complete lack of planning.

If you are a younger senior, you may have time to figure out how you will be able to relax and travel if that is the kind of life you want. There is always a silver lining and you need to look for it. You may already have the kind of life that you want.  Perhaps the “normal” dreams of retirement are not your dreams. The personal satisfaction of helping your family members may outweigh the dreams others have for that time in their lives.

Plan for Retirement

Nothing substitutes for careful planning.  Throughout your working life, you should have considered this day. If you did not, do not despair.  It is never too late to plan for retirement.

If you have not thought of your retirement dream up until now, ask yourself: “What will I do when I retire? Will I still be working? Will I have all my time in the world for relaxing or traveling?” To help with your plan, you may have to change your lifestyle. You may not be able to do all of the things you have dreamed about, but they may not be as important today as they were in the past.

Goal setting is key to planning your life. This will help you to establish your plans and figure out a way to accomplish them. Some people, even those who are financially stable, do not want to stop working because it gives them fulfillment and satisfaction. On the other hand, others may want to take a break and spend most of their time with family and friends.  What you do in your retirement is completely up to you.  Do not feel pressured to make a quick decision about your life.  You have waited this long so you can wait a little longer if necessary.

A financial planner may be the right person to help you with your financial strategies. Often you have assets that are not working financially for you. The right planner may be able to find these underutilized assets. Planners are trained to think in terms that we are not. Taking stock of your assets and figuring out your needs for future years is not as difficult as you may think. They can think more objectively about your finances than you can. It is never too late to plan for retirement. You may be late to the game but some planning is better than none.

Take time to decide. There is no rush.

Do not run out and find a financial planner as your first step. First, you must decide what you want out of the remainder of your years. This is different for everyone.  Perhaps you just want to relax on a beach or at home but your significant other has different plans.  Take time to decide what you really want and then look for help to make your dreams come true. You may not be getting the most out of your savings or perhaps your spending habits may have to change.  Sometimes it takes an objective view to see things as they really are. Often people have to be more creative about finding new income in retirement. You may be surprised at how much a professional can really help.

Many seniors do not want to get out of the workforce as they enjoy what they do and feel that they will stagnate in retirement. Sometimes it is completely out of their hands. That person may get sick and be forced out of the workforce. Your job may disappear or your company may be looking for a younger person. According to Dent Research, in 2016 approximately 55% of those from age 60 to 64 were in the workforce. Only 31% of those seniors aged 65 to 69 were working.  At ages 70 to 74 the percentage drops to 20% and the age group 5 years older drops to 9%.

Will you be able to continue working?

Just because you are planning on working, does not mean that you will be working.  Things happen. You or your loved ones get sick, you become physically unable to work, your job disappears, you are unhappy with your employment or perhaps you are financially able to quit so you do.

Some seniors do not stay at their jobs for the money. Many just want to stay mentally active. Not that money is not an item that motivates us.  However many seniors would enjoy working even if they did not get any remuneration. Unfortunately, sometimes this simply is not an option. This possibility must be taken into consideration in the planning process.

Another good reason to put off not working may be due to your plan for retirement.  The longer you wait to get your social security, the more it grows and the higher your monthly check. Many feel that the amount will be enough to cover basic living expenses.  It will be difficult but if most of your larger assets like your home and auto are paid for, your social security check will be available for daily living expenses.  You should check your social security monthly benefit amounts at the social security administration website.  It is the first step in the planning process.

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