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There are at least three fundamental questions that should be addressed before you make that life changing decision to retire. Learn the questions that need to be asked, and lay a foundation for a life of abundance after retirement.
Sooner or later everyone begins to think about Retirement. The plan to retire with most people will vary because timing is relative to every situation. Some people will theoretically never retire because they really like what they do. Others will continue on in some form of part time capacity just to remain connected as well as providing supplemental income. However, most have worked hard enough and long enough and feel a need to take a break. Age, health, family issues etc. play a lot into retirement as well.
However, no matter what the timing, there are three fundamental questions that should be answered before you make that life changing decision to retire.
First, Where will you Live in that last or second to last season of life. A lot has been talked about in downsizing as you approach retirement. Many people have already effectively done this by simplifying their lives. Where you actually live becomes the issue. You may stay where you are currently living; especially if you have made some recent home improvements that had been put off until you could afford them.
By the time you get your home looking like new again, you might just want to stay for a while. Still others choose to change location such as in any number of retirement communities that have developed over the last decades. Or completely move away from your community perhaps to be nearer to children who have moved away. Health concerns have some moving to facilities with those type benefits provided.
Whatever the reason it is a major decision to consider and have firmly decided before you retire.
Second, is Sustainable Cash Flow. Your cash flow usually does not need to mirror your earned income while still employed. This is a reality most discover once retired, but it usually takes about a full year for that lifestyle to catch up with your real cash flow needs. But real they are and a good budget helps significantly.
Remember that you are setting your personal budget based on what you would like to do and not necessarily on only your needs.
Most importantly, your cash flow should be “sustainable” implying that it is able to keep up with the cost of living and sufficient through your expected lifetime(s).
Third, is to Maintain Quality of Life. This is almost naturally achieved if you have planned well on the first two previous objectives. However, this one includes taking into consideration some variables such as a sudden downturn in health and well being resulting in a long term care situation.
Any unexpected large expense can reduce the expected assets to provide cash flow. In any case have a long term plan and maintain it accordingly.
Finally plan far out and seek sound financial counsel from a trusted retirement planning advisor.