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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Friday, March 24, 2017

Retiring in 2017? It’s Best to Have a Plan

So some time ago, you may have circled 2017 on a calendar and said this is the retirement year. And you did the best you could in terms of saving to prepare for this special year.

The good news is research is showing that people are doing a much better job saving for retirement. A USA Today article published in early February cited multiple studies indicating that 401 (k) plan assets were hitting record highs, people were borrowing from them less and that people were saving more for retirement.

If you are part of that trend, keep it up. But before you make that leap into retirement, there are some other things to consider.

The meaning of retirement has changed over time. Baby Boomers see this goal far differently than their predecessors. Many Boomers consider retirement as their chance to begin a new hobby, passion or even career, which is good. But unfortunately, as the retirement date comes closer and closer, they may be seeing a new reality.

Retirement is like an extended vacation. Living a life of leisure will be great, right? Maybe not. Having too much spare time leaves many retirees feelings depressed, or without purpose. Studies show that those who continue working after the age of 65 actually tend to be happier, whether they do so by choice or not. But above all, voluntary part-time workers were the happiest with their life. While money is the main motivation to work through retirement, having day-to-day duties and satisfaction are just as important.

A few years ago, we wrote here about some of the common fallacies regarding retirement. At the time, you may not have been thinking about retirement, so we are providing it again.

  1. Money is the most important piece to your happiness in retirement. The biggest key to a happy retirement is good health. Just having financial security is not enough. Money only relates to happiness to a certain level, so you can still enjoy your life as a retiree even if you are not a millionaire.
  2. Spending is consistent during retirement. People tend to spend less money in retirement, but this does not always hold true. Many find themselves traveling and enjoying vacations for the first few years, but as the years go on the number of trips generally decreases, while the cost of medical care and family expenses increase. A couple should expect to put aside $220,000 to cover their health-care throughout their retirement. While medical expenses are usually a large concern for retirees, very few spend time planning for that.
  3. Retirement is for couples. As a married couple there is a large adjustment to be faced upon entering retirement. One in three couples don't agree on their ideal type of lifestyle they wish to have in retirement.
  4. Your financial planning stops at retirement. You will still have many problems that you will deal with during your retirement. This means you will have to continue the planning of your investments to make sure that your money will last as long as you do.

 Retirement does not just mean leaving one lifestyle. It means starting a new one. Reaching a certain age doesn’t mean you have to stop working. But if you choose to stop working, it doesn’t mean you choose to stop being active.  However, in order to enjoy this next phase of life, review this list and see how it applies to you.


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