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Retirement Planning

Published by Chapster on 2002/4/26 (3974 reads)
Retirement Planning
(Taped 4/26/2002 at the KEOM studios)

Q: Today's topic is about retirement - so, what are some things we should we keep in mind when preparing to retire?

A: You know, Dr. Griffin, when most people think about retirement planning, it's financial planning that seems to head the list of priorities. And, that is understandable because most folks want to make sure that their money survives at least as long as they do! People should start their financial planning for retirement many years before their actual retirement party! It's important to determine how much income they will really need to take them comfortably through all those years to come. There are factors that can affect how much money a person might need throughout their retirement, such as disability, a new car, nursing home placement, travel, medical costs, etc. So, people may want to enlist the help of a certified financial planner, a CPA, or a lawyer to ensure that their money will be adequate throughout one's retirement.

However, as important as financial planning is for a person's sense of stability in their later years, there are some other concerns that folks should really think about before they hand over the keys to their office or sell their home to buy that condominium in Colorado!

Q: What are some of those concerns?

A: Quite simply, people need to think about what they want to DO with their newly founded freedom through retirement! How do they want to spend their time? What will bring them a sense of fulfillment and meaning to their days? Will Rogers said that, "Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save." There have been so many retirees who expressed to me their feelings of boredom, of lack of purpose and direction, of feeling like they have nothing to get up for in the morning - even though they have put off so much of their own life, held back on vacations because of the cost and time, so that they could have enough money to really enjoy their retirement! Now that they have the time to take that vacation or take time out for themselves, they have no idea what they really want to do with their days. That's why personal life planning is so important before retirement!

Q: So, what should a pre-retiree consider in their personal life planning for retirement?

A: I suggest to retirees that they purposefully plan what activities they want to invest their time in - for example, if travel and economy are important, seniors may want to contact their community senior center and ask about upcoming tours they have planned. Or perhaps get some information about Elderhostels and how they can offer seniors travel, learning, and adventure at an economic value. Specifically, Elderhostel is a not-for-profit organization, the world's largest travel and educational organization for individuals who are 55 years of age and older. Through an international system of colleges, museums, and other educational and cultural organizations, Elderhostel offers thousands of programs on subjects that are as varied as your listeners interests! On the internet, listeners can surf to to find out more of the details.

If an individual's interests lie more along the lines of volunteering, there are plenty of organizations that would love to help seniors become involved with their work. That work may include delivering meals to shut-ins, visiting homebound elderly and/or offering support through daily phone calls, repairing the homes or cutting the grass of frail elders. Working with young people also offers deep satisfaction to retirees. Listeners might choose to become involved with the Foster Grandparent Program, work with newborns in their local hospital, or share their wisdom and experience with others through teaching classes at the community college. Perhaps there are long-lost hobbies that an individual can become involved with again. Maybe a senior used to love painting or bird-watching - well, how about picking up on that hobby again. The whole point here is that unless folks make a concerted effort to plan how they want to spend their time and money during retirement, boredom, depression and isolation may be the fruits of their years of working efforts. Failure to consider one's personal life planning can significantly affect one's health, well-being and sense of fulfillment during our later years.

Q: Where can our listeners find out more about retirement planning?

A: There are plenty of great resources about retirement in the library and local bookstores. Likewise, the internet has numerous websites offering pages of helpful tips to consider in retirement planning, including very specific financial calculators to help prepare for retirement, as well as links to organizations that help seniors find meaningful ways to stay active and involved in life. Of course, AARP has plenty of information about planning for retirement. Contact some local senior centers to check out classes they may be offering about planning for retirement. Lastly, our website,, also offers information and links regarding retirement.

Tags: planning   retirement   future   financial   finances   retire   CPA  

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