Jan 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The Importance of Retirement Planning

Retirement, for many, begins almost like a romance.  Infatuated with its desirability and what seems like limitless options, one is hard pressed to narrow down the priorities and tempted to do it all at once.  That is impossible, of course.  Thus, one is confronted with having to sort out what the realistic options are for your retirement, and to act on them with some kind of practical timeline.

Getting caught in the trap of “cookie cutter” choices, many commit themselves to limiting their options early on.  Settling in somewhere is the first consideration that brings with it multiplied implications.  If you stay where you are, there are predictable advantages;  if you relocate, you automatically impose numerous new obligations and time consuming demands on that choice;  if you do the motor-home thing, you are constantly free to go where you wish, but bound to always looking toward the next stop;  if you move into a condo with zero lot lines and proximity  to the grandchildren, you have solved many issues, but may have created others.  In other words there is no sure fire modus operandi for coming up with a retirement formula.

If you wish to travel, to “see the world” or that portion of it that appeals to you, this is at the top of the priority list.  Why?  Traveling requires resources, stamina, determination, planning and the recognition that by doing all the travel you desire, you will be leaving out other things.  For example, if your grandchildren are nearing graduations or marriage or their first off spring, you may be half way around the world when these things occur.  If you wait, similarly you may be in a distant land when someone precious to you dies and you are faced with an emergency trip home.

Health Influences Choices and Decisions

Health is a strong indicator of what choices need to be made and how to work that out with the other factors that are always influencing senior choices. Finances are also right up  there when deciding how you will begin living out your retirement.  If you choose to work part time, you will not be completely in charge of your calendar.  If health conditions develop requiring that you remain in close proximity to medical services, that too will carry a strong argument about what you decide to do and when. If caretaking looms large on the horizon, that will be another influence on what you decide to do.

If you wish to build your dream home and live out the life that that affords, you may be saying yes to a dream, but no to a lot of other things. If you have a specific desirable retirement location where you want to live, the hassle of putting your house on the market, particularly now, will have to be calculated in the equation.

Every choice in retirement typically, as in life, means you are foregoing other choices. That is why thinking through the big choices thoroughly and understanding their ramifications is absolutely crucial.

Preparing for retirement is no small thing.  Thinking through the implications will involve the meticulous evaluation of all the dynamics that will play into your choices. No one can really estimate when “it is too late” to have waited to make choices you really wanted to make.  Thus determining asap your available choices and desires, and filtering your emotions and engaging your ability to reason will be necessary .  You are not in a gambling mecca throwing dice; you are planning your retirement years as carefully as possible, knowing the ‘unknowns’ of aging will always show up.

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