What does retirement mean to you?
I often ask people I meet “what do you think of when you hear the word ‘retirement’?”
If I asked the talking dictionary the same question, the answer would be ‘the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing work’.
Interestingly though I don’t get this same response with the people I ask. Retirement means different things to different people.
We have seen a significant change over the last 50 years in so many areas of life but retirement isn’t something we often think has changed very much. It certainly has changed, the days of working for 40 years then finishing on a Friday and waking up on a Monday morning retired, receiving your state pension and putting your slippers on is a distant memory for most.
Retirement is changing, some people still aim to be able to stop work as early as possible, other’s plan to make a slow transition into retirement and for some, they enjoy work and plan to carry on working for as long as their health allows.
Two of the key factors in all these scenarios is health and money!
Retirement and the term “financial independence” which we use more at Fort Financial Planning are often used interchangeably. Both are achieved when you have enough savings, investment income, and/or pension income to cover your living expenses. Work becomes optional!
The amount of money each person needs is very different. Some people will be happy covering the cost of housing, food and running a car but for others when they stop work or work less, they have more time to enjoy their lives and would like to be able to visit places, treat the family and have more holidays. But for how long?
With everyone now having to wait longer for the state pension, do you use this date as your target or should you be thinking differently. At what age would you like to have more time to do the things you enjoy?
If you’d like to have more time at age 50, why not? I can’t afford it is often the answer but do you know that? What needs to happen for you to achieve this?
The answer to most of these questions can be found by having your own personal financial plan.
At Fort Financial Planning we spend time building financial plans which aim to answer these difficult questions and tell people what needs to happen for you to live the life you want. If you’re young then it will probably involve setting aside funds for your future – the earlier the better. If you’re a business owner then you might need to know how much you need to sell your business for and if you’re thinking of stopping work then you might want to know whether you have enough or how much you can afford to spend when you do stop.