The New Rules for Retirement Financial Planning

The old approach to retirement looked at your working life and your retirement as two mutually exclusive things; one busy and active, the other a retreat into passivity.

As people now live longer, have improved health, and have different ambitions for the entirety of their lives, we’re seeing a new world of planning for retirement, with new rules and new ideas.

With those things in mind, planning for retirement is very different than it was 20 years ago – and we think that’s a great thing.

The rule that you have to retire at a specific age is outdated. People retiring in their 50s is far more common than it used to be, and with excellent planning, it could be a possibility for you as well. In that situation, you would be looking at nearly half of your life ‘post-work’.

What would that mean to you?

Think Ahead – Now

Your first step must be to design the life you’d like to live. What’s important to you? It may be that you plan to keep running your business for as long as possible, to pass on something of real value to your family.

Perhaps you’ve always worked for a company and want to build the resources to start your own business.

It may simply be more time with your family or more time to spend on the hobbies and activities you enjoy.

Be brave – remember the new retirement rules don’t discriminate between the activity of your working years and the potential of the rest of your life. You don’t have to descend into pipe and slippers – if you’ve always wanted to travel the world or learn new skills, good financial planning can make retirement the perfect time to do so.

Once you have established your ideal lifestyle, make sure you do a precise calculation with a financial planner on how long you would need to work in order to accumulate the savings you need.

There are a couple of considerations you can think about independently:

  • We always advise clients to assume that they’ll live to 100 and then work backward, to be truly covered. Based on your lifestyle ambitions, you may need more, or even less, money than you thought. How much does your preferred lifestyle cost? Multiply that by your remaining years to reach 100 and you’ll have a ballpark figure of the amount you need.
  • Another thing to consider is if you would like to leave money to your family after you’ve gone. Working with a tax specialist will ensure that you have the ability to do that with as little tax burden as possible.
  • A more humble post-work life may mean less time working. Weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide how long you want your working life to last (and then don’t work a day longer than that)!

If an early, or simply more active retirement is what you strive for, talk to your financial planner on what kind of investments and contributions you would need to make in order to make that a reality.

The New Rules – There Are No Rules

The retirement rules of the past 20 years are increasingly less relevant to today’s working professionals. Living longer opens the possibility for a rich and rewarding life beyond traditional working years. In essence, there are no rules – your retirement should be viewed simply as a new phase of your life, one of expansion and exploration.

Weighing your options and getting specific with your goals will make planning this next phase a much easier process.

Be realistic but aim for lofty goals – you may be surprised at just how attainable they are.