In many corporate organizations, 60 is the retirement age, whether you are ready or not, and even when you have so much more to give; it can be quite disconcerting and unsettling to have to move on if you are not mentally and financially prepared. Research suggests that life after 60 can be one of the most challenging and uncertain times of life. If planned for, however, it can and indeed should be a most fulfilling and rewarding time.
What will you do? Will you take some time off as you consider your next steps? Perhaps you want to start a business of your own, travel, do something completely different, give more focus to your legacy, or actually retire in the traditional sense of relaxing and taking things easy.
Whatever you choose to do, life after 60 should be an exciting and fresh new canvas that gives you the freedom to follow your dreams. You have worked for so many years, perhaps with not enough time to do all the things you love. Now you are relatively free from intense family and career commitments; you can travel, focus on yourself and enjoy new experiences, but only if you can afford it, or if your loved ones are willing and able to fund the lifestyle you deserve.
Financial independence typically means having enough income to pay for your living expenses for the rest of your life without having to work full time unless you wish to do so. Here are some strategies that successful sixty-somethings have applied to make the best of this time:
Health is Wealth
Good health is key to a successful retirement. The endless opportunities in retirement can only be attained if you have invested carefully and remained healthy. Healthcare costs tend to increase as you age; so preventive medical attention including regular screening and a healthy lifestyle is essential. Protect your later years by taking care of your physical and mental health with enough rest, regular exercise, and a healthy diet.
In your 60s and beyond, you fall into the high-risk category for complications resulting from the COVID-19 virus. Be conscious of meticulously observing all the set protocols; wear a facemask, wash your hands frequently and use a hand sanitizer, and most importantly, avoid large crowds.
Ideally, your medical insurance should have been in place for decades before now, but even if you have no cover, put something in place as soon as possible. Even the most elaborate retirement plans can be totally decimated if you find yourself in poor health and without adequate health insurance in place.
Cut back on your expenses
Entering retirement should force us to rethink every aspect of our financial situation. You may be forced to give up some of the luxuries that you were accustomed to. Prepare to adjust your lifestyle and spending habits as appropriate and if necessary.
It can be particularly challenging where you have been a corporate executive for many years with perks that you took for granted and never cost. Some of the most vulnerable are those retiring from senior leadership roles in the private or public sectors with all the attendant perks. For those still working, don’t be complacent. As you enjoy all the trappings, be sure to give attention to building your own assets by saving and investing; for a time that will surely come.
Be mindful of debt
While you are working, debt can be a nuisance but you can manage it with sufficient regular income coming in but it can be a huge burden particularly where you are no longer earning. Even if you cannot afford to pay it off completely, try to reduce it, particularly the high-interest debt. With overwhelming debt, it will be impossible to retire in financial security, so you must tackle this head-on.
Will your pension be enough?
Living solely on a pension is impossible for most people. You will need other sources of passive income from personal savings and investments; to be able to maintain the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to and to meet your obligations.
Nimi Akinkugbe has extensive experience in private wealth management. She seeks to empower people regarding their finances and offers frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance.
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