With 40 years’ experience working in financial services, I have learnt a thing or two about retirement in my time. These are the 10 commandments that I will use to guide my life into retirement. Are they same as yours?
1. PREPARE – financially and emotionally, what do you want to do in retirement and how much will it cost? Retiring to sit in front of a TV is not life – it is a sentence. If you are not ready for it, retirement will be incredibly hard, boring and I suspect, short.
2. UNDERSTAND – what your finances will support, how they are structured and what your entitlements to any government benefits are. Don’t rely on the “expert” who happens to be your neighbour – talk to someone who is qualified and that you can be confident will provide the correct information.
3. PLAN – look at the need for Powers of Attorney both from a health and financial perspective. Ensure your will is relevant and current, prepay your funeral costs and be aware of the costs and planning required for aged care (hopefully this does not become a reality). Don’t leave these decisions in the hands of someone else – especially not your children.
4. ACTIVE– remain physically and mentally active. Continue, or start to exercise, buy a bike, book travel which includes a walking tour, give back by becoming a volunteer for a charity, read the classics – all those books you always promised yourself you would read but didn’t quite get around to.
5. NEW – you are never too old to learn a new skill, language, musical instrument, art, or craft. For me this means learning how to make a surfboard, mastering the guitar, and learning French. The last one is so I can sit in a corner café in Paris and understand what the French are saying about me while I drink my flat white coffee at the wrong time of the day!
6. WORK – it may be four letters but it is not a dirty word. Be prepared if required to do all types of paid work to supplement your income – packing shelves, cutting lawns, traffic control, etc. I have always wanted to sit on a ride on mower and remain totally unstressed by the decisions required to mow a couple of hectares – should I go clockwise or anti-clockwise?
7. NO REGRETS – don’t dwell on the past. Try not to worry about what you should have done or not done or covet what other people have. These are wasteful activities and will just make you bitter. Concentrate on what you have now and always remember there are an enormous number of people who are worse off than you.
8. EMBRACE – don’t live in fear. Welcome change and differences. Enjoy this time of your life, make sure you live every day and never think of yourself as old, just experienced. And certainly don’t let other people tell you you’re old.
9. USE YOUR ASSETS – remember how hard you worked to accumulate the funds and assets required to enjoy your retirement. Don’t give your assets to your children before you have a chance to enjoy them. At the end of the day it will do them no favours, and it will reduce your income and limit what you are able to achieve.
10. IGNORE CONVENTION – retirement is not a time to sit on your bum and watch the world go by. As I have said before, don’t let people tell you are too old to try, or do something new.
I am not saying that everyone should follow my set of rules, but we all should have a set of rules by which we live our lives, and our retirement should not be any different.
MARK TEALE | CENTREPOINT ALLIANCE
PREPARE FOR LIFE | ISSUE 20 | 2016
The information provided in this page is general in nature and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information you should consider the appropriateness of the information with regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should seek independent advice from your financial adviser before making any decisions.
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