Are you financially ready to retire and just don’t realize it?
This is a question on a continuous rinse-and-repeat cycle for thousands of retirees. You’ve worked for the last 30 years or more and you’re ready to sail off into the sunset. Yet you’re still hesitant because you fear you won’t make it to the other side financially. But perhaps you’re in better shape than you think.
Here are a few things to consider about how to retire on less:
- First, determine exactly what is on your bucket list. One of the joys of my career is living through my clients’ experiences. Sadly, when I ask them what experiences they want to have or accomplishments they want to achieve over the remaining years of their life, clients rarely have a long list – and many have no list at all.
One such instance involved client’s dream of visiting Italy. She feared this would never happen because of her resources. I pulled up my laptop right in my meeting with her, went to Groupon.com and showed her that for as little as $1,200 a person, including plane flights, trains and 4-5-star accommodations for 10 days, this dream could be made a reality.
Many retirees have the view that their retirement could cost far more than it will. You’ve always wanted to have a house in the mountains? Look no further than Airbnb. Rent a beautiful cabin for months on end and make the tour of other cabins till you find the one you like.
Desire an RV to travel domestically? Try renting one and hitting the road to determine if it’s a good fit for you. Many clients buy an RV, quickly realize it’s too much upkeep, and sell it back to the dealer at a much lower price. Wisdom is realizing you don’t have to own something to enjoy something.
- Secondly, decide how important it is for you to leave money to your heirs. You’re not alone if you believe that unearned money leads to foolishness. It’s a noble idea to leave money to your loved ones but understand that few will appreciate what you’ve earned by the sweat of your brow.
A financial advisor can help you with the mathematics of retiring, but an essential part of the equation is how important it is to you to have money left over for your heirs. When you’re not adamant about leaving money behind, this gives you the permission slip to use a portion of your principal to help you retire earlier. If you don’t begin enjoying the fruits of your labor, someone else will when you’re gone.
- Finally, always get a second opinion. If it turns out you really are ready to retire financially, how soon would you want to know? A financial advisor specializing in retirement can help you navigate through such issues as where the money will come from, how long it may last, the potential tax impacts of your retirement and what to do so your spouse is taken care of when you are gone.
Many financial advisors will tell, you to work longer and your retirement plan will be better. But stop exchanging time for money.
It’s a bad trade.
Andrew McNair is the president of SWAN Capital (www.SWAN-Capital.com), an independent financial services firm in Pensacola, Florida. He has experience in the fields of retirement income, wealth preservation, and long-term care and has a strategic partnership with an attorney for estate planning services. McNair also is the author of Tithe: A Living Testimony and Don’t Be Penny Wise & Dollar Foolish. His financial commentary has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fox Business, Market Watch and Kiplinger.
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