Tags: Hellmich | retirement | opportunity | finance

USA Today: View Retirement as Opportunity to Do What You Like Most

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 09:00 AM

Many of those who have enjoyed successful careers have a tough time with retirement. All the sudden they have huge blocks of free time without a strong purpose to guide us.

Nanci Hellmich of USA Today offers several strategies to make a smooth transition into retirement.
  • Take advantage of what may be your best chance to spend as much time as possible doing what you really want, psychologist Mary Languirand, co-author of "How to Age in Place," told Hellmich. "Some people know exactly what they want to do, and where, and with whom. Others — often those who had to devote a lot of time and effort to responsibilities and duties that didn't necessarily make them happy — need time and 'permission' to break old habits and create new patterns."
  • Get your finances in order, socialize and pay attention to your health. Without good health it's hard to enjoy anything.
Among the toughest parts of retirement is "missing the day-to-day social connections with colleagues, getting used to a new and different routine and finding ways to give meaning and purpose in their days," Hellmich noted.

As for finances, what's preventing us from doing the right thing when it comes to saving for retirement?

A "big one is certainly the illusion of time," Scott Thoma, investment strategist for Edward Jones, told Fox Business Network. In other words, we think we have more time than we actually do to build a retirement kitty.

"Many also don't understand how little steps can make a big difference," he said. "For example, the average tax refund is about $3,000 a year. Investing this, every year over 30 years with a 7 percent return, could be $300,000 over 30 years."

Inertia also is an obstacle. "Just a problem with getting started," Thoma added. "This is why steps such as auto-enrollment in employer-savings plans is important, automatically building a habit of savings."

Even if you are in the midst of paying off debt, "at least contribute enough to achieve the company match," and then worry about debt, Thoma advised.

He's referring to 401(k) plans. We are repeatedly advised by retirement experts to max out contributions to those plans. But many of us work at companies that don't have them, or we don't even work for a company full-time, freelancing instead.

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Many of those who have enjoyed successful careers have a tough time with retirement. All the sudden they have huge blocks of free time without a strong purpose to guide us.
Hellmich, retirement, opportunity, finance
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2015-00-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 09:00 AM
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