Preparing for Retirement

According to a Gallup report, Americans are planning to retire by the age of 66. If you are in your 40s, that may seem like a long way to go.  However, we all know that time runs fast.  Before you know it, you are in your 50s already. 

The best time to ask yourself, “Can I retire yet?” is today. 

Start planning for your retirement!

Meet Your Retired Self

Try to imagine yourself as “retired.” What will be your concerns? 

Some of your questions might be:

  • Can I live comfortably on my retirement income? 
  • How will I spend my free time?
  • Are there any hobbies I want to pursue?
  • Are my children ready?
  • Can I still live independently?

Now, go back to the present.  What can you do to address these concerns today?  These will answer your question, “Can I retire yet”?

Can I live comfortably on my retirement income?

Review your current budget.  What are your monthly expenses?  Will you be having the same amount when retired?  Try removing any unnecessary costs and create a new “retirement budget.”

How about your current income?  What would replace your regular salary when retired?  Is it enough to sustain your retirement budget?   

Prepare by reviewing passive income opportunities that you can start now. 

  • Start publishing that book now.
  • Convert these properties into apartments to get monthly rental income.
  • Explore future opportunities as a consultant in your field.  Build a network now.
  • Start training to get teaching credits. 
  • Try a side gig related to your business idea today.

What will I do with my free time?

Currently, you follow a schedule for everything.   However, during retirement, you will be responsible for planning your own time.   

What will your future schedule be?

  • Start disposing of unnecessary things.  Organize whatever is left. 
  • Start reading blogs on retirees who have already done this.
  • Seek older people and find out how they make productive use of their time.

Are there any hobbies I want to pursue?

Find out if a hobby can be converted to a source of income.  Start building your skills and researching the market.

  • If you love reading books, you can be a book reviewer or even start a bookstore.
  • You can self-publish your book.
  • Create a blog and earn from ads.
  • Crafts can be sold online. 
  • Cater or sell your baked goods. 

Are my spouse and children ready?

Prepare your family to be independent, both financially and emotionally. 

If you have been too busy at work, reconnect with your spouse and children.  Discuss any “unspoken” issues and forgive each other.

You can look forward to enjoying precious time with your family.

Can I still live independently?

The status of your health will determine if you can still live independently.

How will your health be in later years?  One clue is to look at medical histories – your own and your parents’.  Most diseases are inherited while some develop because of our lifestyle choices.

Start taking regular laboratory tests.  Do your best to reverse the onset of diseases.  Eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly, meditate, and pray.

Keep your mind healthy by exercising your brain starting today.  Take courses, read, and discuss exciting topics.  Do puzzles and memory-building exercises. 

Build your spiritual faith.  Start getting involved in church activities.  Read the scriptures and faith-building books. 

The key to enjoying your future retirement is to start planning today. 

As Patrick Foley said, “Retirement is a blank sheet of paper.  It is a chance to redesign your life into something new and different.”