It may seem simplistic, after all doesn’t retirement mean pretty much the same to everyone? No more working for a living and the freedom to do what you want. Actually yes, retirement desires are quite universal, but like anything else the devil is in the details. The key is the “do what you want” part of the equation. For some people the simple joy of not having to go to work everyday is like a dream come true. Putter around the yard for a while, have lunch and maybe talk to some friends and the day is complete. And let’s face it, that’s a pretty solid day in most people’s eyes. But the thing is that there are other days that might be just as fun but cost a bit more money. When there is suddenly no more income coming in, that golfing hobby may put more of a dent in your resources than you realized, especially if you increase your playing time due to your new found free time.
When asking yourself about retirement it is important to note those activities that are the highest priority. What is retirement? Well, in your case it may mean that you can now finally see your kids more than once a year. How much will all of that flying and food expenses and gifts to the grandkids cost you now that you can see them more often? Or maybe, your priority is a summer cottage. Exactly how much has the maintenance and insurance been over the years? It is highly unlikely to get cheaper. Have you always been a bit of a shopaholic? Well, that tendency may only grow with so much time on your hands. While doing nothing but staying home and taking care of the dogs probably sounds like heaven, chances are that you will eventually get antsy and want to fill your time with other activities.
I think you get the general idea. When doing your retirement planning it is often best to assume that you are going to spend more than you think you will. While work paid you for your time, retirement costs you money for that same amount of time. So, what is retirement? Only you know the answer to that. Be sure to factor in the things that are really important to you when thinking about your future retirement. And if you have help in your planning, certainly tell your broker those very same factors. With a little planning your retirement can be a long and enjoyable period filled with you able to “do what you want”.