Why Plan for Retirement? The Laterlife Guide
We're retiring earlier, relatively, and fitter than any
generation before us has been able to do. Actuarially, women
who live until 60 can expect to be here for another 28 years
and men who are still here at 60 can look forward to another
25 years. Either way, it's a long time to be miserable, so
we want to enjoy our retirement and lead an active
That's easy to say and, indeed, it's easy to drift into
retirement. But how much better it is to make conscious choices,
do some planning and so make the most of this next phase in our
lives. Retirement is a time of opportunity and choice - make the
right choices and we can be fulfilled in retirement and really
It really is worth doing a bit of retirement planning to
make sure we get the most out of our retirement. Think about all
the time that most of us spend planning our annual holiday. We
get the brochures, talk to travel agents and other people, trawl
through the internet and compare different options. Why do we do
this? We do so to make sure that we make the right choice and so
enjoy the holiday. Our holiday will probably last about two
weeks - 14 or 15 days. Retirement could last 10,000 days, so
it's worth spending some time planning it so that we make the
right choices and so enjoy it to the full.
Retirement is a time of opportunity and choiceThere is the
opportunity to do all those things that we've always wanted to
do but never had the time because of the demands of work. We
also make choices and we can choose to take whichever
opportunities that we like. For probably the first time in our
lives there will be no-one demanding our time - we can choose how
to spend it.
In order to make the best choices we need to think about them
and plan them - just as we plan our annual holiday. If we don't,
there is a greater chance that we will make bad choices by
default. Retirement is to be enjoyed and whilst there is, of
course, the opportunity to be spontaneous - indeed, that's one
of the great benefits of retirement - we will enjoy it more if
we make the right choices.
We might feel that it doesn't matter and that, if we make the
wrong choice, we can stop doing whatever it is and do something
else. That is, of course, true. However, in the meantime we
might well have invested time, energy, emotional resources and,
not least, money before we realise that we have made a mistake.
It's far better to make the right choices in the first place.
Planning retirement, therefore, will help us to make the
correct choices and, therefore, enjoy it more. The goal of
retirement is to enjoy it and get fulfilment from it. We have
worked all our lives and, hopefully enjoyed at least parts of
that work if not all of it. Whether we have or not, it's been
largely dictated by other people. In retirement, you're the boss
and you can decide how best to enjoy it and be fulfilled by it.
We said earlier that retirement is a time of opportunity - we
have the opportunity to do all those things that we've always
wanted to do. But the first opportunity is that of
being able to decide exactly how we are going to spend our time.
Retirement planning is the best tool that we have in order to
make the most of that opportunity.