Now that you know what retirement is (it’s the point in time that you’ve chosen to stop working because you need the money.), Let’s talk about what it’s going to be like.

5-year-olds know what they’re going to be when they grow up – 45-year-olds don’t. What happened? For crying out loud this is a good chunk of your life – the ultimate weekend that never ends, and you have no idea what it’s going to be like?!

1-What will your health be like?

Now my money’s on some sort of treatment that can be applied (ideally topical) that helps me lose weight and desire nothing but fruit and vegetables – this may not happen, so I should get into veggies more. In the context of retirement, all I’m working for and am striving to achieve may be nullified rather quickly if I’m insulin dependent or have some other chronic health issue. When all we’re confronted with is the immediate, it’s hard to think about what kind of physical shape, and financial shape, we’ll be in at retirement. Wealth is so much more than just a bunch of money though.

2-What will your family be like?

I’m guessing you’ll want your kids to have everything you had, perhaps more. Would that involve encouraging them to travel overseas? Well, there’s a good chance they may not come home. Heck, I’m putting a lot into my children, so I’m not going to even talk about other countries – I want them around later on wiping my slobber and feeding me mashed bananas. Is there a way to make decisions now that could make it easier for your kids to stick around?

3-What would you DO?

What would you do with your time, if you didn’t have to do anything with your time? What cause are you down with? Spending time with the elderly? Making sock puppets for your neighbours kids (oh that’s just weird), volunteering at your local school (as a sock puppeteer?) Apart from giving to your children/grandchildren, living an ‘outwardly’ focused life, whilst not a natural thing to do, may be the key to unlocking immense happiness. Nothing yet? Get something – it’ll create a nice little anchor for you to find purpose in, during retirement.

4-Where would you live?

An apartment and a sailboat – big enough to get around the world – that’d be me to a tee. I’d also want to be close enough to my children, some entertainment, medical centres, but nothing that requires a lot of maintenance. Where would you live as a retired person? You may be into different things as you age remember – less booze and wild times and perhaps a nice book and a gentle stool softener?

5-How much would you need?

Okay, meat and potatoes time – let’s get real. If you want to read about what Tonya Tuppence says in the personal finance column then be my guest, but I personally don’t subscribe to the idea of receiving advice from a generation out of touch with my world. The reality is, you’re going to need far more than what your parents allowed for! IF they’re having a good time in their retirement then chances are it’s by accident (or inheritance). I’m being nasty to your parents now I know – sorry!

Generally speaking though taking the lead from parents may not be advisable (of course there are exceptions to this!). What about your grandparents? I suspect they budgeted for something a bit more modest so using them for advice could be folly too. You’re different though so you need to approach things differently –  Do you want to have fun in your retirement? So let’s talk about this question a bit more – how much do you need?

To be continued . .  in our next blog