For most people, retirement is a milestone in their lives. They look forward to the freedom of not having the daily grind of work and the excitement that comes from planning each day exactly how they want it to be.
Now, imagine yourself in retirement with the commitments of bill payments, university fees, home repairs and mounting medical expenses. You do not want to be struggling, so understanding some post-retirement risks can be beneficial.
1. Inflation: This risk is real and is one that can erode savings over time. Prudent investing in secure products that are specifically designed as inflationary hedges will minimise this risk.
2. Unforeseen events and large expenses in post-retirement years: This likely applies to large-ticket items such as mortgages, which should be fully repaid in advance of retirement.
3. Advancing years and declining health go hand in hand: One of the main measures to consider in planning for retirement is catering for increased health services needs as we get older.
To earn a bigger payday during retirement, planning should ideally start with your first pay cheque.
However, just because planning hasn’t begun at age 20 there is no need to despair. With retirement at the age of 60, we can assume that the individual over the life of employment should have:
• 480 pay cheques to retirement, should they begin planning at 20;
• 360 pay cheques to retirement, should they begin planning at 30 and;
• 240 pay cheques to retirement, should they begin planning at 40,
The earlier the start date, the less stressful retirement planning becomes.
It is unlikely that your company pension will be sufficient to cater for all your needs if you live for 25 or 30 years after retirement. So alternative sources of income are paramount to maintaining the lifestyle you had before retirement.
Perhaps you are an excellent baker or handy at carpentry. You can prepare yourself to rely on these skills for additional income when you are no longer at the office.
Recent research suggests that those who calculated their retirement fund needs beforehand had more savings, higher levels of confidence in medical insurance, higher household income, and better health. This is called retirement confidence, and in addition, people who received financial education and advice had higher levels of retirement confidence than others. For people nearer to retirement, it was felt that retirement confidence was affected by other variables, such as talking with family members, researching wealth management in retirement, knowledge of retirement issues and home equity planning.
It is clear that you will need to prepare yourself in several ways so that you are confident in your ability to live a comfortable life while in retirement.
Fortune magazine published a study showing people with written plans end up with an average of five times the amount of money at retirement as those with no written plans. Similarly, Harvard Business School published a study on goal-setting and found that 83 per cent of those surveyed do not have clearly defined goals; 14 per cent have goals but they are not written down; only three per cent have goals committed in writing. After a 30-year follow-up, the conclusion was that the three per cent with written goals earned an astounding ten times the amount of those of the 83 per cent group who failed to clearly define their goals. The conclusion is quite clear: you must plan your retirement so that you can enjoy it in comfort.
TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce thanks member and Signature Sponsor 2021 the TT Unit Trust Corporation for contributing this article.