Retirement is permanently withdrawing from being an active member of the workforce and living off your savings and investments, if any. Some people retire due to a legal requirement to stop working at a certain age or after a certain number of years of active service while others retire at a time of their choosing to pursue hobbies or leisure activities. For others, retirement may be involuntary, and they find themselves out of work due to accidents, disease, or other unplanned eventuality.
Retirement planning, therefore, is identifying your retirement goals and planning towards achieving them.
When should you start planning for retirement? The simple answer is this: Start planning for retirement as soon as you start earning an income and can start putting something aside for your future self.
Planning early towards retirement ensures that you are able to enjoy your retirement years. Early planning also allows you to reap the rewards of compounding interest on your savings and investments. You may even find that you are able to meet your retirement goals early enough to retire at a relatively young age and take time off to pursue other interests.
To successfully plan for your retirement, first outline your needs for retirement. These needs may include accommodation, feeding, travel, healthcare, etc. Next, determine how much money you will need to live the quality of life you desire at retirement. This will require detailed planning of your expenses on a daily to weekly to monthly to annual basis.
Then create a savings and investment plan that will ensure you have the funds you will need for the kind of retirement you desire. Available options for such savings and investments include:
- opening a Retirement Savings Account (RSA) where you can set aside a percentage of your monthly income until you are set to retire;
- investing in mutual funds. These are safe money market instruments that are relatively very safe and yield good returns over time
- investing in real estate;
- starting and growing a profitable business;
- purchasing an annuity plan from an insurance company;
- investing in stocks and shares of companies listed in the stock exchange;
- starting a dollar denominated savings account’
- investing in gold.
There are professional retirement planners who can make the work of your retirement planning a lot easier. It is advisable to find a good one who can provide the guidance, advise, and support you need to develop and execute a workable plan for your retirement.
However, making a plan is not enough, you need to put in the work required to make your plan a reality.