Retirement: The Need for a Plan

Retirement planning in the new millennium is more than setting a date and applying for one’s pension and social security.  The wise consumer looks at the gamut of needs and changes that will occur when he/she moves from a life involving an active career to a slower-paced life of selective leisure.  What needs to be planned and why?

Most of us do not fall in the 1-2% category of millionaires in the world.  Therefore, it behooves us to diligently plan for retirement financially while we are still actively involved in a career, when we have choices about how to invest recurring income for use later.  And the earlier in the career the better.  Wealth Management advisors are available to help with this planning.  Most of us non-millionaires have neither knowledge nor expertise in investing for retirement; seeking the assistance of experts is just plain smart.

Again, probably earlier rather than later, addressing quality of life issues needs to be on the retirement agenda.  What are you going to do with all that leisure time?  Are you going to work part-time in that special interest of yours that you never really had time to invest in during your career life?  Are you going to volunteer for your favorite charity or non-profit?  Are you going to pursue hobbies and recreation activities that always got shoved aside because of the demands of the work week?  Looking at how you maintain the quality of your daily living is an imperative component of successful retirement.  Research is very clear about the positive correlation between health and happiness in retirement and daily activity that keeps body and mind active.  This topic is really a multitude of issues, all of which will be addressed in this feature column in coming weeks and months.

Other questions facing Baby Boomers as they plan for retirement include:

  1. What is my ‘retirement age’ and do I want to retire then or later?
  2.  Where will I/we live in retirement?
  3. What do I need to do to initiate my pension plan?
  4. What do I need to do to initiate my social security income?
  5. For those retiring at age 65, what do I need to do to initiate my Medicare coverage? 

These questions, and many others, will be addressed in future editions of Retirement Planning Features.