Retiring Happy

by Kristina on July 28, 2010 · 1 comment

As I assist my clients and their families plan for retirement, we look at several different factors other than money.

I ask my clients “What is important to you?”

According to an article posted on YahooFinance titled “Secrets to a Happy Retirement”, money is listed as the very last item on their list of criteria for a happy retirement. There are five different areas of financial planning that I explore to help my clients successfully plan for a happy retirement.

Family is a very important topic that we discuss when planning for a successful retirement. Family is usually the very first topic that people choose when I ask my clients to pick their top two priorities during retirement.  Sometimes retirees will provide child care for their grandchildren during retirement; sometimes they will relocate to be closer to their families.  All of these life changes require planning.

A person’s home is very often the second most selected topic when clients pick their two priorities during retirement.  Very often people downsize during retirement. When a person decides to sell their current home and buy a smaller home, or relocate to a retirement community, there is extensive planning involved, especially regarding finances and taxes.

Work is another topic that often comes up when I discuss retirement with my clients. Usually people retire because they are eligible for a company pension, or they are at an age that provides government assisted benefits.  Financially the person may be ready to retire, but mentally and socially they are not ready to say good bye to their jobs. Many people’s circle of friends come from their work life.  How many of us change friends when we change jobs? When you no longer work, will you keep your friends?

A self employed individual has a harder time accepting retirement than a company employee. This is usually because of the personal attachment to their own business.  Planning for the Business to be sold or closed, is something that we need to consider when planning for the retirement of a self employed business owner.

The legacy that a person wants to leave behind is a very important aspect of retirement that needs to be planned. A personal legacy could be a monetary donation to a charity or organization; it could also be a trust fund set up to plan the financial future of a child or grandchild.  A personal legacy may also be in the form of a memorial foundation set up in our name to honor a cause.  It is very important to draft a will and keep it up to date when planning our retirement.  This will ensure that our final wishes are carried out.

There are many things other than money that we should consider when planning for retirement. Money doesn’t always make us happy, and it is not always the only thing that matters in our lives.  Yes, money is important.  But, it is not everything.

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(Photo By FoxyPar4)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Tim July 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm

i agree with you…this is why i think financial advisers ought to question the answers people give when you ask what is important to you for retirement. These are value judgments, but I think we have grown up in a world with misplaced notions of values, that if people step away from it would rethink their decisions to make better ones. For example, the traditional notions of home ownership, etc, I think should have been re-evaluated given the causes for the current economic downturn and future economic prospects.

you wrote that money is important, but not everything, yet all your points before hand were about money. i think you misconstrued the fact the writer listed money last, because the list wasn’t rank ordered, nor did the writer say money surveyed as the lesser characteristic of a happy retirement. In fact, the article states that happiness is dependent on your ability to maintain your pre-retirement lifestyle. That makes it pretty clear that people surveyed view money as being pretty darn important–that is, not working but having enough money to maintain your pre-retirement lifestyle. In order to achieve that, you have to save quite a bit during your pre-retirement years.

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