How to take the stress out of retirement!
Updated: Jun 10
My mother retired from work recently. Her first few months went by in a rush, with her travelling around the country and meeting family and friends. Soon, she stepped back home and that’s when it hit her. She had no clue what to do. So without a plan and with time in hand, she went out and indulged in retail therapy. And how! Her finances went for a toss.
Yes, as fun as retirement sounds, it’s a big economic change. The fun part usually gets over soon when you enjoy the things you missed out while you were working – like travelling or vacationing. But then reality hits home, and you realize the massive changes in your daily schedules, your financial routine, your skill-set requirements and so on.
My mum made me promise I’ll prepare for it all while I’m young, so the change won’t be as abrupt, and the transition, smooth. Here are some lessons I picked up. The first and most hard-hitting dip that you face is the loss of your regular income. By the time you reach your retirement age, you will be extremely accustomed to a well-settled, proudly built lifestyle, which you will have to tweak after retirement.
Here are a few things that my mum did after retirement to create a balance – and she truly wished she’d done these earlier:
You don’t have to stop working when you retire. After a few months of fun and chilling, my mum started working for 2-3 hours a day. Not only did she keep an income coming, but her sudden loss of identity (as a psychologist) also faded away.
You can prepare for working a few hours after retirement. All you need is simple research, based on your bucket of talents. It’s not hectic and keeps your identity intact. The gig economy is thriving and anyone with skills can find financially viable projects.
Develop and monitor a well-devised financial plan
It’s time you spend some time and figure out when and how you want to retire. Start with creating reasonable (hence, achievable) financial goals for your professional timeline. Which you can at Basis, where we launching our goal-based investing soon.
Once you have these in place, write up the different ways you can manage to achieve these goals – by saving, investing, budgeting and so on. You can keep updating this timeline as you go.
Budget your way into retirement
Another plan that can help is to list out – in order of priority – everything you want to do when you retire. This may include travelling, taking up hobbies, volunteering and so on. Now, all you have to do is start thinking frugally about the things that are at the bottom of the list.
For instance, maybe something like shopping for new clothes won’t be at the top of the list, because you might have a fabulous collection anyway by then. So, you can allocate a smaller bracket to this, while not selling short on all your must-dos
Invest. Invest. Invest.
Start NOW. Not tomorrow or next week, now. Invest in long-term funds at multiple places. If you start today, your retirement funds will have more time to grow – and trust me when I say, ‘every day matters.’
Make sure all your health and medical insurances are well in place before you retire. Medical bills should be the last thing you should be worried about once you and your spouse retire.
Plan to pay off all your debts and EMIs before the big day. With a budget in place and income sources scarce, you shouldn’t be worried about the loans you took earlier in your life. Make sure while taking up loans that the payments will be paid off before you retire.
Don’t let retirement and the hidden taboo behind the word leave your world in a tumult. Take charge of all the things you want to fill your days with and plan well in advance to financially organize them. Also, don’t forget to keep aside enough time to just do nothing!