General

How to Prepare Yourself for Retirement

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11 Jul 2018 - General
 

There is a singular cognitive dynamic shared by the most complex beings with a developed neural system – the dynamic between effort and reward. Humans share this characteristic with so many creatures on this planet and, as a matter of fact, it is so integral to the very nature of humanity that it has become an intrinsic part of our civilization. For every month of work, we get paid. For thirty years of work, we get a well-deserved retirement. However, there are many potential bumps along the way that can render the attainment of this reward significantly harder. With that in mind, here’s how to prepare yourself for retirement.

“12 Months and Out” deal

Research has shown that the last 12 months of your career are critical when it comes to putting your retirement deal on a stable path. The first thing you should do is get your portfolio in order – spruce the “file” up, check if all the documentation is there and pay special attention to health care papers.

Downshift from any stocks, if you own them, and as you expect the paychecks to stop, move the money into a savings account so you can fund at least a singular year of expenses. Raise cash and try to stay realistic when it comes to expectations.

Anticipate the costs

Now that you have laid the groundwork, you have to curb your expectations and anticipate the costs. For example, you should not expect, by default, to get the same sort of benefits as the generation of your parents. For one, there is the simple matter of people having longer lifespans. On the other hand, many of the parameters have changed. Instead, when it comes to anticipating costs, concentrate on the solvency of health care programs.

Look into a viable program

The entire retirement setup appears to be so simple – a fraction of your paycheck piles into a separate account and once the time comes to retire, you reap the benefits. However, it is far from that simple. There are countless “phantom obstacles” along the way, not to mention the required paperwork that needs to be dealt with. This is why, especially if you get a Kafkaesque vibe from such topics, you need to look into viable programs.

For example, many people are interested to find out what is the NDIS. An abbreviation for National Disability Insurance Scheme, it is a personalized funding package for people who are living with an ongoing disability – a matter that can quite unpredictably affect your life. It is financed out of the taxpayers’ pockets and it has been ongoing for four years. It lends the recipients greater control over how the funding package is spent.

Consult

Of course, before you get into the nitty-gritty of things, you need to consult with the right people. When it comes to preparing yourself for retirement, the worst thing you can do is assume you are completely in control and that you know everything. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from your children who are much savvier with the alteration of the administrative landscape due to the rise of the digital interface. On the other hand, you should definitely consult a financial planner to get a direct and unbiased advice.

Times they are a-changin’

Brace yourself for changes. Your purpose in life, relationships, and your very identity will change forever. However, even though the transition can be hard, this is far from the end of your life. In fact, many psychological professionals point out that it is just as important to retire to something, as it is to retire from work. This is why it is so important to keep an active private life and cultivate an identity that is completely separate from work – so you can ease yourself into the retirement. Having a part-time job can help.

You can also go a step further and practice being retired. Start spending as much money as you would during your retirement, and go out to find friends in social circles that are completely separate from your work. If you have grandkids, this can actually be an exceptional opportunity for you, as children tend to rejuvenate the lives of all adults. You should definitely also look into transferring your skills into something productive – and this goes for matters beyond a part-time job. For example, if you were exceptional in your work, you might start working as a consultant and an advisor who can “teach” the newcomers all the tricks of the trade.

Keep learning

Life is a process, and we either adapt or we die. This doesn’t change or cease until our very last breath. This is why, when it comes to dealing with paperwork, financial plans, family obligations and relationships, you need to just keep on learning. Force yourself to have an open mind and to tackle every situation with a certain level of flexibility – it is the only true route to make your life easier.

All humans crave security – yes, even the most chaotic adrenaline junkies like to know they have something to fall back on. For most people, this “cushion” is embodied in a form of financial stability for the time when they become unable to work. Staying economically independent and secure during the twilight years is crucial for this reason, plus it gives you the luxury of a blank slate to start anew – pursue a hobby or start your own private business.