What will your retirement look like?



Barbara Stockebrand. K-state extension agent. Submitted photo.

What will your retirement look like?

We humans spend a lot of time and effort planning different phases in our lives. Much of this effort involves planning the finances that arise, like buying a car or a house, starting a family, educating ourselves or our children, or retiring. All of this requires a commitment to some sort of planning process so that the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

I’ve already written about retirement. Maybe it’s because every day brings me a little closer to my own. When we are younger, we feel like we have more options or time to accomplish some of those larger goals as mentioned earlier. We may do extra work or postpone a major purchase to give us more time to raise funds. We may even decide to change our decision-making process … because we have the time. Retirement often seems like a distant term when we are young, which is why we sometimes put off thinking or preparing for retirement.

More serious thoughts about retirement emerge as we get closer to this stage of life – “Have I put my finances aside to feed myself?” “Will my health last?” “Do I have to make fundamental changes to my lifestyle? If so, when? “These can be agonizing questions because, as in earlier phases, there is uncertainty. However, once we have reached this stage of life, we are only able to deal with deficits such as time and the opportunity to change course or obtain additional resources to a limited extent procure, balance.

It goes without saying that retirement preparation should begin before the event is official. There can be a lot to do, which can include moving on to a different lifestyle. Income and expenses will likely change as a result. Below are three general points that can help you weigh your retirement.

Organize your finances. Take a closer look at your monthly or annual budget. Project the changes you expect when you retire. For example, will you continue to work part-time, receive a pension, or count on social security support? With our longer life expectancy, retirement can take decades. Your tax bracket can change, so look ahead by doing some tax planning regarding the taxation of your future income based on the tax laws related to pensions and social security.

Plan your new lifestyle. Start thinking about where you want to live. Have your children moved or you? You might want to get closer to them. Is a relaxing or comfortable retirement provision important to you? Where could this best happen for you? Would you like to consider senior living with a lot of comfort and support as well as the freedom to come and go? Take into account the monthly income you will need for either of these options. You may want to add more to your IRA or investment account to support your retirement needs.

Start taking steps now. Aside from tucking away more money to prepare for the golden years, there are other preparations that can be made. If you are about to retire, shrink your facility and personal belongings so that you will use less space if you move in the future. With a move planned, take a look at the neighborhoods you might want to live in after retirement to get used to a different lifestyle and community.

Many want to withdraw where they are right now. Now, if it comes to making your home safer and more comfortable, there may be a few changes that need to be made. Most modifications are straightforward, but redesign can be done as part of this preparation. For fun or as a little inspiration, stop by the Universal Design Living Laboratory at www.udll.com. This is more house than most of us need. However, many of the concepts included, like making hardwood floors, creating clearer and wider paths, adding natural light and not having steps, are some good qualities to study. Now, before it becomes necessary, consider your options for an easier transition. There is also an extensive resource list on this website with helpful information.

We’ve heard it before, “It’s never too early to start planning for retirement.” What do you want your retirement to look like?

For more information on simple home modifications or home valuation tools, contact the Southwind Extension District Office at the Yates Center at 620-625-8620.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.