Do you look forward to retirement?

Do you look forward to retirement?

Do you look forward to retirement?

Retirement can be a massive step in life that can affect your emotions, finances and even your marriage, but you may be surprised to learn how many people apparently approach the big day with little or no thought or preparation.

Start a retirement plan

Research has shown that only three out of every ten South Africans can retire financially independent at the age of 55 or 65. If you’re already saving for your retirement, keep going, but if you’re not saving, it’s time to get started. Start small if you have to and try to increase the amount that you save each month.

Aim to have a car for yourself and your partner paid off by the time you retire to eliminate some of your financial burden. Paying off a home will also be a great benefit and get rid of all your credit card and consumer debt as well. If you decide to purchase a home for retirement, think about upkeep and accessibility. For instance, you may need to build a wheelchair ramp, access a lift, or have wider doorways. As you probably won’t want to cut the lawn, buying a home with a small yard or a unit in a retirement village might be the better choice.

Find interests and hobbies that are close to your heart and establish personal ties that aren’t based exclusively on your professional work. This is especially important if you’re the type of person whose social circle is limited mainly to work-related relationships and who gains your sense of self from your position or profession, as you could end up feeling lost after retiring.

No matter what you do in your retirement, your marriage is going to be affected by the transition. Those who are happiest in retirement, tend to nurture their relationships. Make sure that each partner is happy with a decision before moving ahead and don’t make major decisions in a hurry. Moving abruptly to that sunny spot in Australia may not be the dream you imagined.