So you are looking forward to retirement. “Roll on 65,” you say. Over the three previous issues we introduced this topic and looked at the Big Picture and Health. Over the next three issues we will continue to expand on what can be a scary season of life for many men and women. As with any season of life you need a life plan, and the third age is no different. This season of life should be the most influential and rewarding.
So, the BIG FINANCE PICTURE is: You are unlikely to be as wealthy as the day you retire and enter the third age. Financial limitations will impact your freedom to do things at some stage and you need to allow for this in your plan.
Your plan is the whole of life direction you are planning for, and part of that plan is a finance plan or budget.
As mentioned last month, health and capacity will impact your leisure, as will finances. With increased free time leisure opportunities increase and so with all these opportunities you will need to budget time and money. You may need to ration, change or eliminate current or new opportunities.
ADEQUACY OF SAVINGS
With changing income, you will need to plan what activities (travel, presents, recreation, dining out, etc) are reduced, altered or eliminated. Your savings will be defined as you enter the third age and it is unlikely that they will increase from that point. There is an argument that there is no point in planning further saving. There are decisions to be made about adjusting living to income, or living to consuming all income and savings. If your income exceeds living requirements, then it is a season to give it away. There is no point being the richest person in the graveyard. No one will care!
USEFULNESS AND YOUR VALUE
Our culture has a tendency to value people on their asset wealth. The third age brings changes to wealth patterns. It is a time to accept one’s worth and value is not based on what we have but who we are. Who we are, our identity, should be based on our influence and the legacy we leave behind in the lives of other people. With increased time in the third age, there is never a season like this to build legacy.
UNFULFILLED DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS
The reality is that you will enter this season with some aspirations or dreams that have never been achieved. If you have aspired to climb Mt Everest you may have to let this go. It is healthy to review the bucket list and choose to let some things go.
You may have operated without a budget for many years. The third age may be a season that the budget has to be reintroduced to achieve your life plan without stress and fear. By doing a budget you may find you have freedom to do more than you expected!
Questions to ponder: