The Cost of Retirement Happiness
US News recently discussed the secrets to a happy retirement. They found that people who are most content in their “golden years” have several common qualities. In addition to the proverbial good health and personal satisfaction, there were some fascinating findings: not too much TV, not being addicted to achievement, and intellectual curiosity. These are great tips, and they can actually change your financial plan. Let’s take a closer look at how these tips can have corresponding costs in your retirement plan.
1. Good Health – This is fairly obvious. The healthier you are, the better you feel. But strongly consider how your health will also influence your retirement costs. What kind of health problems do you currently have? What will treating them cost in the future? What’s my family history? What kind of supplemental health insurance options are available to me? Should I consider a Long-Term Care policy? The answers to these questions and more can cause huge waves in your retirement. Consider them early and before they rear their ugly heads.
2. A Significant Other – Partners are important, but many people plan only from their own point of view. Their partner’s considerations are sometimes left out of the equation. Many decision makers can’t imagine a time where they’re not making decisions for their family or their partners. But what happens if you were to pass first? Are the appropriate instructions and arrangement in place? What if you lose the mental acuity to manage your portfolio? Who takes over? Does your partner share the same investment sensibilities as you? Do they have a support system or would they do it on their own? Should you consider trustee services? Would professional management services be appropriate? You are not Superman. Unfortunate things can and do happen, so ensure you taken care of your significant other if they don’t enjoy financial duties.
3. A Social Network and Don’t Be Addicted to Television – Staying active is great advice for retirees. In other words, have friends and get of the house, don’t stay home all day anand watch House (a fine show, BTW). What will your life look like? Will your social activities and hobbies involve large expenses? Will you be travel a lot? Play golf 5 times a week? Is working with charitable organizations important to you? All these questions are personal, but your retirement plan will need to address them.
4. Intellectual Curiosity and Addiction to Achievement – One is encouraged, the other is not. However, both can manifest in similar ways. For those that like to be challenged or define their lives with their professional status, a second career or part time work is common. Consider this in your planning. Do you like to work? Is there another career that you would like to pursue? What kind of income will it generate? If you go into a full-time second career, are benefits available? How will this affect your savings plans? What are the tax implications? Some retirees start managing their portfolios with gusto as a substitute to their career pursuits. Is this wise? Is it healthy, for you or your portfolio?
Retirement is a concept that everyone imagines, but few embrace. Use these lists to think about the realities of life in retirement. A good rule of thumb is to write down your visualized retirement. Record your concerns and expected challenges. This can help you to start addressing the pertinent questions necessary to enjoy your retirement to it’s fullest. If you work with a planner or advisor, this exercise can be incredibly helpful to them. They can build a plan for you with your image of retirement in mind. After all, retirement should be as stress-free as possible. Planning in advance will be a big help in this pursuit.