Are You Thinking About Retirement?

Who will you be when you retire?  Many of us identify ourselves through our career, but when we retire, that identity retires as well.  So, who do you want to be in retirement?  How do you want to enjoy yourself?  There is no magical age for retirement these days.  You hear of individuals retiring not only in their 60’s or 70’s, but in their 40’s if they have been successful.  But, what is realistic for you?  In the meantime, you can always start planning (and in ways that are not entirely financially related).

Some things to think about in creating a new YOU:

  • Take some time and think about what you would like to use the time to enjoy – travel, spend more time with family, start a new career, become more active, volunteer, pursue a new or favorite hobby?  Make notes of your intentions and wishes.
  • Don’t be afraid to dream.  After all, dreams can become realities.  Would you like to relocate to be in a warmer climate, closer to family, live in the mountains, live near water?  Is there a favorite travel spot you have visited where you think you might like to live? 
  • Consider ways to stay socially active (even in COVID times, you can have social interactions).  Would you like to meet existing friends for a specific purpose or would you like to meet new people by joining a new activity?  How can/will you accomplish this?
  • Don’t ignore your health – stay healthy.  How will you accomplish this in retirement?  Plan time for staying active.
  • Look at your financial situation and get guidance as to the assets you have accumulated and how they will be impacted in creating the new You.

These tips are meant to start you thinking about what retirement would be like for you – regardless of whether you are retiring in the near future or whether you have several years before retirement.  Often times, people retire without having thought much about it other than “I am ____ years old. It is time for me to retire” or “I have enough assets. I can retire from my career”.  Don’t allow yourself to be one of those people.  Allow yourself some time to dream, to think about what you will do.  It will make for happier times when retirement happens.

And finally, think about your estate planning.  Many times people have not completed their estate planning prior to retirement, thinking that there is no need to do so beforehand.  There could be no falser thoughts.  Estate planning addresses how to or who will handle situations during your lifetime, as well as planning for who will benefit from your estate.  Doing your estate planning is not just for post-death purposes, but living purposes as well.  Consider having your estate planning completed as a gift of love to your loved ones to help them avoid having to make decisions they otherwise would not have been faced with had you completed your estate planning. 

Happy Retirement Planning.

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Kay Sowa

About the Author

Kay Sowa is a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Group at Capehart & Scatchard, P.A. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent, an Accredited Estate Planner®, and a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. She oversees the trust and estate administration practice for the firm. She is an accomplished author and lecturer who has frequently spoken on behalf of a number of organizations including the National Business Institute and the Institute of Paralegal Education.

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