Retirement. It’s something everyone thinks about and looks forward to enjoying. The idea of waking up without being tied to an alarm clock – to know that your day is yours. It’s a dream most people can’t wait to fulfill.
Many of those people, though, have one common question: Will I have to return to work after I retire?
This question can lead to a great deal of anxiety. And yet, that anxiety can be greatly lessened with simple math and by taking action. Learn how to answer this question for yourself in just 4 steps!
Step 1: Assess
The first step is to assess where you are, get very clear on where you want to be, and then determine how close you are to that goal. To do so, start by answering the following questions:
What Do I Want to Do in Retirement?
Each of us have different goals for retirement. Some of us fully intend to lie in our hammock by the beach and relax. Others want to spend time with and spoil our family. Others want to travel and explore the world. Then, there are those who want to start a business, write a book, or something similar.
The key to being prepared for retirement is getting clear on what you really want to do once it’s time. Choose your priorities, your goals and dreams, and write out your list.
How Much Is That Going to Cost Me?
Once you know what you want to do during your retirement, you need to estimate how much it will cost you. That not only includes the money for your big goals, but also for your regular day-to-day expenses.
It’s also a really good idea to add some extra funds to these calculations. Many people return to work not because they have to, but because they want to. This is due to the fact that things change, and we can’t predict the future.
For example, you might envision rest and relaxation but find yourself bored a few months into retirement. Or a new grandchild might come that you want to put through college. Adding in some extra funds gives you a better chance of adapting to changes.
Do I Have Enough Put Away?
After you have an estimate of your expenses, it’s time to determine if you have enough savings or regular income to cover those costs. If you don’t have it yet, ask if the systems and strategies you have in place are likely to get you there. If you answered no to both of these situations, then your chances of returning to work after retirement may be higher. But don’t fear! You can take the next step!
Step 2: Develop a Plan
If you’ve determined that your current path is not going to help you reach your retirement goals, it’s time to find one that will. Before you begin, there is one very important thing to note:
Hope is not a strategy!
Hope is a marvelous thing. It can be the catapult that propels you into action to achieve your goals and never give up. However, hope itself is neither an action nor a strategy. And in order to meet your goals, you need both action and strategy.
Sitting around and hoping for the best is not the path you want to take. It’s essential that you create a strategy – a road map that will get you from where you are today to living the way you want in retirement.
However, creating that plan isn’t always as simple as it might seem. There are many different avenues you can take, but not all will produce your desired results. Getting help from a financial advisor is typically the best move to make unless you are an experienced financial planner yourself.
Developing your strategy as early as you can is always important. It’s never too late to begin, though. So, no matter where you are on your journey to retirement, you can make moves right now to help you achieve your goals.
Step 3: Put That Plan to Work
You’ve created your strategy and you’re probably feeling a bit accomplished – as you should. However, a strategy is nothing without putting action behind it.
For many people, this can get a bit tricky. It’s not that putting the plan to work is so difficult. It’s that putting the plan to work often means making decisions and possibly making sacrifices, and that’s not always comfortable. There will be times when you have to decide what’s more important: this purchase right now or being financially secure in retirement?
Step 4: Assess and Adjust
Again, things will change, and some of those changes will happen before you actually retire. Many people put their retirement plan to work only to be surprised by an unplanned baby. Some get a new job offer across the country or might decide to return to school.
Whatever the case may be, change is part of life. And you’ll need your retirement strategy to adapt, too. That will require regularly assessing your plan and determining what – if anything – needs to be adjusted.
This is another area in which both starting early and getting professional help are beneficial. By starting long before you actually retire, you’ll have time to make any necessary adjustments. And by having a professional on your side, making those adjustments will not be as stressful or overwhelming as doing it alone.
Remember, you don’t have to guess whether you’ll have to work after retirement or blindly make your way toward your goals. Instead, take steps to create a plan and put that plan into action.
If you need help or just want to talk through your ideas and options that could be right for your situation, give us a call or schedule a free consultation with one of our certified financial planners. Our team is here to help you gain the clarity and guidance you need to succeed.
At Medallion Financial Group, we believe financial planning is about Family. We have been helping families invest in the future since 1987 through a holistic planning approach. We recognize there are a variety of needs when it comes to retirement planning, plan rollovers, annuities, college planning, life insurance options, and investment management. It is easy to get lost in a sea of choices. Our financial advisors help with the basics and beyond to enable our clients to get the education, advice and management they need to retire with confidence.
Our focus is twofold: first and foremost, we are fiduciary advisors. We stand against any violation of laws, values, and ethics. Second, we treat our clients as part of our family, not only those who call Maryland and Georgia home, but clients across the US who have benefited from our reputation of personal service, integrity, and expertise.
We strive to exceed client expectations – because we have high expectations of ourselves.