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Contemplating Retirement

Contemplating Retirement
March 07, 2023


Many people fantasise about what life will be like in retirement. Unfortunately, what one doesn't really spend time thinking about is when and how to retire. "People probably spend more time planning their summer vacation than their retirement", said Scott Bishop, director of financial planning at STA Wealth Advisors in Houston. "Yet, retirement is a big decision that you shouldn't rush" he said. Bishop and several other financial advisors say there are several factors to consider when determining your retirement readiness. It's critical to understand that a retirement plan is of key importance. Here are the answers to a few questions that will cross your mind while you're planning your own retirement.

Q1. What sort of lifestyle do you want?

While figuring out how much money you need to retire, consider the kind of lifestyle you want after you retire. You could choose to live frugally. Or, you could also choose to take up travel, enjoy the arts and learn new hobbies. If you choose the latter, you need to understand that your expenses post retirement will be higher, and you need to plan your savings accordingly.

Q2. Where will you live?

An important decision you have to make in retirement is choosing where you will live. Most people will want to live in their current home for as long as possible. However, sometimes a house is part of an employment package and so you may have to consider other living options and finding an alternate home post retirement. If you need to move, it's a good idea to buy a home and finish paying off any debts you may have before you retire, so that your retirement money is left safe.

Q3. What will your expenses be?

Factors such as your health and lifestyle will determine your retirement expenses. If you're in poor health, then paying for healthcare will be a large part of your retirement expense. If you plan to travel extensively then that will become part of your retirement expenses. Boost your monetary corpus by taking out a retirement plan while you're still employed.

Q4. What are your income sources?

Your savings will become a huge source of your retirement income. If you've invested in a retirement plan or ULIP, then the pension or payout from those will be an income source for you. If you don't have significant savings or insurance then you are not ready to retire just yet.

Q5. How much debt do you have?

When you carry more debt into retirement, you'll need to have more money to pay off what you owe. This means you'll have less money to cover retirement expenses, and generally do the things that you enjoy. So, when considering retirement, think of paying off your debts completely. This way you'll have more money on your hands in retirement.

Q6. How will you cover the cost of healthcare?

It's quite likely that your employer will not continue to provide you with healthcare after you retire. You could opt for health insurance to cover the cost of healthcare for you and your loved ones.

Q7. Will your children need financial assistance?

If you have children that are financially dependent on you, then you need to factor that into your retirement expenses. However, don't let the costs of funding your children completely deplete your retirement corpus. Having insurance in the form of children's plans will help you finance your children well into your retirement.

Q8. Should you leave your children an inheritance?

If you want to leave your children with an inheritance then organise your assets accordingly. You'll have to separate the assets that you'd like to pass on from the assets that you could use for yourself in retirement. It's also important to remember that leaving your children with an inheritance is a choice that you're making and it isn't necessary that you must do so.

Q9. How will you fill the days?

The time that your job took up is now completely freed up for you during your retirement days. You can plot out what you'd like to do with your mornings, afternoons and evenings. You could pursue your passions. You have all the time in the world to yourself. It is not a myth that retirement can be very liberating.

Retirement is much awaited by everyone. You no longer have to bear the burden of professional responsibilities, and you're free to do what you please, provided you've made the necessary preparations. HDFC Life has a number of insurance policies for you to choose from in retirement and otherwise. Get yourself insured and live life to the fullest!

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