I have met many people over the years who think they have taken care of their retirement because they have contributed to an RRSP and their mortgage is paid up. But taking retirement is not simply a matter of having the financial means to do so. There are three stages of retirement; all have emotional, physical, psychological and financial components.
Early stage retirement is front and centre on everyone’s mind. You’re still playing 18 holes of golf, volunteering on Boards, babysitting your grand kids or perhaps you want to reinvent yourself and start a new business like I did at fifty five. But fifty five plus is also the time to start addressing the mid phase of retirement; for you or for your parents who are age 70/80 or older right now. You need to arm yourself with information and address lifestyle changes even before you’re handed the pink slip.
This is why you need a Later Life Plan.
Work provides us with structure, meaning and a sense of identity but in retirement, what happens when the golf games dwindle down, babysitting is no longer an option and getting your groceries becomes a chore? Later life ailments like hearing loss and incontinence for example, are hard on some egos.
Do you know how to optimize this most valuable and yet possibly vulnerable stage of your life?
For a chance at a happier mid-retirement try to answer the 5 questions below:
- Can you imagine yourself downsizing or moving to a different geographic location?
- Have you always been independent or a do- it- yourself kind of person? Would you accept help if you needed it?
- How will you continue to make a meaningful contribution? And is this in fact important to you?
- Is leaving a legacy important to you?
- Are you organized? Do you have your will and personal directives on hand?
This twenty year plus phase of retirement if planned out, can offer us invaluable stress free time to look back on our accomplishments. It’s also a great time to venture out, get involved and stay connected for the best time of your life.