Even though we have several decades to prepare for it, retirement tends to catch most people by surprise. At the early stages of our career, retirement seems light-years away, till it comes knocking on our door on an inconspicuous day. With so much information readily available for all of us, there is no need or reason not to know more about retirement long before it happens. When you understand some of the most important aspects of retirement early on, you will have plenty of time to prepare for it. To help you plan for your golden years, here is a brief guide to everything you need to know about retirement.
Determine Retirement Needs
Everyone’s needs are different, plus what you need now might be of no use to you later, and vice versa. For instance, people don’t often pay too much attention to their health when they’re young. But that will change as you age, as you will eventually need more medical care. If your mortgage hasn’t been paid off by the time you retire, that’s another thing to consider. Moreover, you will see and read about a lot of things that you can do during retirement. Most of those things need money, so this too has to be thought through if you plan to do more than staying at home during your golden years.
There might be some things that you refuse to give up and other things that you could live without. It’s a very subjective matter, but the essentials are objective. You obviously need a place to live, food to eat, clothes on your back, and enough savings for medical care. Also, you should know from the start that housing is going to remain one of your biggest expenses, whether because of a mortgage or your inability to maintain the house.
In the past, people depended much more on the government and their place of employment to take care of their retirement plan. However, times have changed, and now one must put in much more effort and contribution into their retirement plan.
Saving around 80% of pre-retirement income is a good starting point that will help you live comfortably during retirement. You have to keep saving and avoid getting your hands into your retirement savings account until you need it; it’s as straightforward as that. If you think you can save $300 a month, start by saving $100 and work your way up; this is one tip that will keep you sticking to your plan.
No insurance policy that fits all; it depends on your needs and preferences, but what you need to be aware of is that certain insurance policies are vital during retirement age. One insurance that you should most assuredly have is health insurance. Standard Medicare may not cover all your new needs, so you should consider a supplemental insurance plan, and also think of insurance policies that cover long-term care. Home or rental insurance should also be on your must-have insurance list. Moreover, life insurance is important, as it ensures that your loved ones and beneficiaries won’t have to go through financial hardships should anything happen to you.
It’s best to make an effort to understand insurance policies. Fortunately, there is also a lot of useful insurance information available on the internet that will answer most of your questions. Seeking expert advice from licensed agents will also help you make the best decisions as to which types of insurance suit retirees and which insurance carriers to use.
You Can Continue to Work
This is usually a choice, but sometimes you might just have to continue working after retiring. However, the type of work you might do will probably differ from what you’ve always done. For instance, you will probably want to own a small business rather than build a large, multinational corporation. As longevity increases with advanced medical care, many retirees are healthy enough to continue working.
Feeling Younger Than Your Age
Be positive and look at the bright side! According to one survey, 60% of adults who are 65 years and older say that they feel younger than their age. To put that in perspective, research says that those aged 18 to 29 feel their age and a quarter of them feel older, while the other quarter feels younger. Older generations have a different attitude, which accounts for many of the results of this survey. One reason to explain these findings is that older people count their blessings while teenagers and young adults tend to focus on what they don’t have.
The same way most things changed when you got your first job, most things will also change when you are no longer working. These changes are a mix of exciting and worrisome ones. You can eliminate the worrying ones merely by knowing more about what to expect in retirement so you can plan for it. Be prepared, and you’ll be able to have an enjoyable and smooth retirement.