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Enjoy Your Retirement

You have worked some 50 years of your life. So, retirement should be something to celebrate and look forward to rather than dread it.  You are the master of your retirement and if you take care of several key aspects today, it can be a fulfilling one.

Stages of Retirement

What constitutes retirement can be drilled down to the following stages.  

During Stage 1 a person may have just retired and is still independent.  There maybe actively travelling or they even  undertake contract work on selected days.  Some may help out with their children’s family.  So, their lifestyles will start to change.

During Stage 2,  an increase in health issues may arise which requires more attention and funds for example experiencing knee and joint pains, advancement of existing issues such as high blood pressure, cholesterol etc. New health problems such as vertigo may all creep in. 

During stage 3, some may suffer memory loss or disorientation.  Loss of mobility may increase thus the senior may require assistance for household chores.

By stage 4, some may be bedridden or confined to a wheelchair being totally dependent on assistance.  Some may stay in a nursing home which can provide not only daily care but the necessary medical monitoring.

Understanding and accepting these stages, and planning for them will help one transit from stage to stage better. Therefore,  planning ahead is something most people want in their retirement years.

Calculating Your Retirement Needs

Retirement is more than just a number.  The general rule-of-thumb commonly used to calculate your financial needs it retirement has been to take your last drawn salary before retirement and discounting it to 60% or 75% as the amount required for the duration of your retirement.

Then you work out how many years you will be in retirement, factor in the inflation rate and you will have the magic number you would need for retirement living.

Cconsider how you will be at the different stages of retirement and the long term care needed later before plonking down the numbers needed.  Protection products such as insurance and takaful, estate planning products such as wills, trusts, hibah or wasiat could form part of planning ahead.

The above factor will help derive the number and determine how far one’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings will go.  Any shortfall with EPF funds will have to be topped up with more savings today and ensure these savings keep up with current lifestyle inflation to avoid falling short during retirement.

Therefore, rather than using the rule of thumb method, it may be prudent to look at one’s own family health history against your current state of health and plan for the worst.

Conclusion

Remember that what you do today or did not do will determine the outcome of your tomorrow.  Plan it well today decide if there is a need to improve current health conditions.  A gradual lifestyle change may be necessary.

If professional help is needed, seek out a licensed Financial Planner, the fee paid to the planner may help you mitigate costly financial mistakes.  So be sure to speak to a few planners before engaging as this could be a lifelong relationship.

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