Tag Archives: Retirement Health

6 Retirement Surprises

6 Retirement SurprisesWe live with our parents for approximately 25% of our life. Then we are working for about 40% of our lives. The remaining time we are on this earth is spent in retirement. This is the  time when our pensions and our savings are most important to ensure that we have the quality of life that we have always wanted. There are many things that can get in the way of attaining and keeping the quality of life that we want to have in our retirement. 6 Retirement Surprises are discussed in the following material.

Six Retirement Surprises

Here are 6 retirement surprises that we all need to pay attention to during retirement and also when we are planning for our retirement.

Live within your means

We have all of this extra time to spend and sometimes people plan trips etc that they have been waiting for until retirement. They may buy a new car and they may spend a lot of money upgrading their homes all of which eats into their savings and as their savings decline, there is less income from the savings to help them with daily expenses. Plan your major expenses and make sure that you are living within your means to enable a quality of life that you desire as you get older.

Budget changes

If you do not have a budget, you should. Once you have a budget, living within that budget is important as mentioned above. But sometimes there are changes to your budget that are needed to reflect additional income as well as additional expenses. We suggest updating your budget at least once per year to assess your ability to live within your means and make sure you have sufficient income to live on.

Health changes

Health issues can creep in any time. From heart attacks to strokes, diabetes and on and on. Most people will have some form of health insurance to cover them. However there is the deductible and most only cover up to 80% of the health bill for hospital stays etc.. Even 20% of a $200,000 is $40,000 which is a substantial amount to cover. If you or your spouse needs to go into a home to be cared for the bill for this can be high as well. Even at $3000 a month or $36,000 a year, this is a substantial amount that needs to be covered.

Inflation

For the past 20 years our governments have been able to control inflation and keep it in the manageable range of 1 to 3%. Some countries have experienced far higher levels of inflation. We can only hope that were we live will remain in the 2% range for the foreseeable future. Even 2% over 20 years adds a hefty increase to your daily bills. This is something that should also be planned for.  A 40% increase over 40 years is substantial.

Not working forever

While some of us may plan to work well into our 60’s and beyond the reality is that many of us will not be able to work due to health issues. Availability of work is another factor. We have seen some 80 year olds still working. They are probably for the money and also for the social part of the job. However as soon as your health goes or as soon as they downsize it is much more difficult to find a job unless it is a minimum wage job.

Volatile markets

The last 30 years have seen really volatile markets. In 2008 the market dropped by 50% and has since come back and exceeded the levels pre 2008. If you need to withdraw money from your savings plan or your retirement when the market is down. You are actually eating into more of your capital than may have been planned or budgeted. Accounting for these changes is necessary to ensure that you will have a retirement plan that lasts.

Balance Finances, Health and Wealth

Balance FinancesAs Canadians age, transition and live in retirement, taking control of their health and wealth is critical. Control that leads to ensuring success and quality of life in the later stages of life.  Many of us are trying to figure out what we want to do in the next stage of our life. Some of us are about to retire or have retired. Still others retired from their long term careers. But are working on a part time basis or on a contract basis at various jobs.

They call this semi-retirement. Since they have not stopped working yet they have retired from their career jobs. This transition, regardless of what you chose to do or how you plan it needs to be thought out carefully. Take into account your family needs as well as your personal needs. This includes financial health, but also your physical health as well.

Balance Finances – Also Your Health

“There are three major aspects of your physical health that deteriorate with age – your strength, endurance and flexibility and let’s not forget your cognitive abilities as well. Declines in these areas can lead to loss of quality of life and disability that may to increase with aging. Many people can significantly slow down the decline in each of these factors by taking control of your lifestyle. So you have to pay attention to your finances to make sure you have enough to live on, but you also must pay attention to your overall health as well.

Many Canadians are allowing their physical capabilities to decline at a higher rate than what is attributable to the result of aging. Staying active, strengthens the heart, the lungs and the muscles and keeps strong blood flow to the brain. Even if you go for a brisk walk daily, this can make a huge difference in your cardio levels and extend you life by years.

Some age-associated changes are within one’s control, and can be slowed by staying active and making small lifestyle changes. An increase in physical activity at any age is known to reduce age dependent declines in fitness and can help prevent diseases that are normally associated with aging.  Diet is also important as well. Eating well, without over eating and maintaining the weight for your body type is important. Overweight people tend to age more quickly so maintaining proper weight levels, exercising regularly as well will help you maintain your health.

Balance Finances – Your Wealth as Well

Paying attention to your finances is equally important. The many demands of life can make it difficult to take full advantage of the power of saving and investing money over the long-term. While consumers  may be tempted to ignore the details and deal with retirement financial challenges as they arise, a successful retirement can be attained by taking a few simple steps to determine in advance if their financial capital is adequate. Do the same with your overall health as well and take steps to prolong your life.

The key to a successful retirement isn’t about setting a plan in motion; it’s about building a plan that is dynamic and holistic so as your life changes and your health changes, your financial plan evolves and preserves your money in a way that fits your lifestyle. Much like physical health, action must be taken to maintain strength, endurance, and flexibility in one’s financial health. It is the combination of control over one’s health and finances that leads to a balanced retirement.

Stay on track and build a plan today. Follow these simple steps to a successful retirement.

  • Write down your plan. Writing down your physical and financial goals helps you clarify them and gives you something to work towards.
  • Assess your progress. On a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis, step back and see whether you have achieved the goals that you set for yourself.
  • Make modifications, as needed. A plan is flexible and can evolve as your needs change.

You are the only one who can really take control of your health and your financial plan. Talk to experts to help you fine tune your plan for exercise as well as to save sufficient money for your retirement. However do not follow advice blindly, make your own decisions and remember:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Never put all of your eggs in one basket, diversify

Please leave comments on your plans and how our readers can benefit from your ideas as well.