Time is a luxury, which is why the adage to spend it wisely exists. However, it’s impossible to make all the right decisions, and often times when we’re asked if we could “redo” or “remake” any of them, we’ll conjecture that there’s at least one thing we would do differently. These may feel like regrets, but more often than not, they are simply products of hindsight. We only understand the situation or event only after it has happened, and it’s no different when it comes to retirement. There are lessons learned after one has completed the journey, whether these journeys concluded in failure or success.
We’ve compiled some common key takeaways that retirees have said when asked, “What would you do differently if you could go back in time?” to provide some helpful advice for would-be retirees. Read some of these retirement planning takeaways from actual experts below:
1. Focus on what you can control.
This starts with your money. Having money doesn’t give you happiness, but not having any money at all is sure to give you troubles, and this is especially true during retirement. Controlling your finances can be difficult and requires a lot of discipline, but as with all financial plans, financial control starts with saving.
Most retirees will assert that simply saving isn’t enough – one must save diligently. This means putting as much money away as you can, as early as you can. Another way to save is simply to not spend – living beyond one’s own means and spending needlessly will make you fall behind. Most successful retirees still drive their old cars and refuse to buy new ones. Just because you have money to spend doesn’t mean you have to spend it.
Another way of accumulating money is investing – it’s part of any comprehensive financial plan.
2. Prepare for what you can’t control.
Life generally never goes 100% according to plan, so the best we can do is to prepare for the unexpected. Accidents, health problems, family issues, and other unprecedented events can cause economic shocks in our lives, making the best of us dig into our savings way earlier than we would have liked.
As an extension of the previous advice, retirees assert that they could have prepared for these sorts of events by saving way more than they thought they needed. Saving those extra dollars act as a cushion to help you deal with life curve balls. Having adequate insurance cover will also help you prepare for any unforeseen life events.
3. Think about life in retirement.
You can become so engrossed with ensuring your retirement plan is on track that you forget to think about what your retirement lifestyle will look like. Do you imagine yourself travelling or staying at home looking after your grandkids? Will you be involved in any sort of charity or community organisation? What will keep you busy, and what sort of contribution do you want to make in this world?
Regrets often sound like this: “I should have done…” or “I would have done this differently if only…” Retirement can give you time to explore some if not all of the things you’ve always wanted to do but never made the time to, such as learning new skills or taking up a new sport. Simply worrying or mulling over your retirement plan can take the joy out of experiencing life with your family and friends as well, so aim to strike a balance between the two.
At the end of the day, there is always a “lesson learned” regardless of whether people experience success or failure in their day-to-day lives, including those who are currently in retirement.
If you need a comprehensive financial plan to help you prepare for a fulfilling and comfortable future, we can help you. Contact us right here at Collaborative Consulting to arrange your free initial two-hour consultation. We’ll work together to achieve realistic life goals that allow you to prosper in your financial future.