When you think about retirement, what comes to mind? The extravagant vacations you'll take? The smaller home you'll buy? That snowbird property you've eyed in Arizona? Maybe you're just excited to not wake up to your alarm everyday?
Whatever your retirement dreams may be, the pathway to retirement is a winding road full of detours, road blocks and icy patches. One moment your TFSA is maxed out and your RSP contributions are steady, and the next you may get laid off and need to use your savings, or your roof starts to leak and a big repair bill comes up - there's just no telling what can happen in the future!
The best way to face these many (and sometimes costly) surprises - without feeling the anxiety about your future - is to have an in depth and detailed retirement plan in place.
Retirement plan, spending plan, financial plan, savings plan - all of these terms we use interchangeably because to us, retirement requires a plan in place as early as possible to ensure you are "retireable". The better you understand the Practical, Emotional and Family Implications of a life transition, the easier it is to create a financial plan that will provide peace of mind.
The goal of retirement planning is to maintain choice, control and independence throughout your retirement years. Planning provides an opportunity to think about things ahead of time so we have time to create a plan to increase the likelihood of completing those goals.
There are three main chapters in retirement:
This tool illustrates how long retirement can last and can help you prepare for each chapter, ensuring you continue to have the choice, control and independence throughout your retirement years.
We have created four different checklists that help you organize your path to retirement. They are divided into four different time frames listed below:
2 to 10 Years Before Retirement
2 Years before Retirement
Living in Retirement
Many people move to a new residence during retirement as they become empty nesters, but the number one reason is for health reasons. The following is a great tool to help you determine "what makes home feel more like home". It helps you determine what is important should you decide to, or are forced to move.
Life does manage to throw us some curve balls. This is true at all stages, but it becomes more prevalent as we get older. One common curve ball is a change in health or mobility.
It's helpful to be proactive and consider other options that would bring peace-of-mind and enable more choice, control and independence for living your best life as you age. While you can't know exactly what could happen to interrupt your retirement plan, creating alternative scenarios when life plan go awry can help you gain some peace of mind, knowing you have your backup plans in place.
This tool helps you to create a backup plan.
For many people, retirement provides unlimited freedom to do all the things they never seem to have the time for when they were working. They enjoy their life, the people around them and the things that fill their days.
For others, retirement can be more of a challenge. They may find that simply "keeping busy" just isn't enough. They can find "time filling" activities, but they may not necessarily find "time fulfilling" activities.
We often overlook the psychological impact of retiring from work. Instead of feeling free, relaxed and fulfilled, you may feel bored, aimless and isolated. The novelty of a "permanent vacation" can lose its appeal for some, leaving people feeling as if a part of their identity is now gone.
To help with this transition, the below tool can help you maintain a sense of meaning and purpose in your later years. It helps you explore the things that currently motivate you and inspires thinking about how to replicate that inspiration through your retirement.
The significance of social support has been well researched, and we know that having social support has both physical and psychological benefits, especially when we get older. In fact, studies have shown that having a strong social support network can improve immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine functions; decrease anxiety and depression and increase longevity.You invest your money for your future, but it's equally important that you invest in people, so that you have enough practical and emotional support throughout your life.
Most of us have friends and family, of course, but relationships change, we lose touch, and people may move away or pass on.
This tool helps you to start thinking about the most important people in your life right now and encourages you to continue to grow your social support system as you age.
Financial Planning is important because the process enables you to clearly identify your priorities and focus your resources on obtaining your objectives. The goal of financial planning is to map out what you have now, identify where you want to go, and build a financial plan to get you there.
The Financial Planning Process
Financial Planning is an ongoing process that includes:
We also look into estate and tax planning, insurance planning, business succession planning, philanthropic services and lending services.
To get started on a financial plan, we have created the following work booklet to fill out. It can be as detailed as you want and is a great way to lay out all of your income sources, your debts, and your spending habits.
We know times are changing, and in this fast paced - need-it-now world, it can be difficult to find advisors and financial representatives you can put your trust in to. Our team and our extended team of professionals take great pride in providing our clients with the services they need, and leaving out the things they don't. The above link provides you with the many facets of BMO's holistic approach to wealth management - an approach we implement with every client - no matter how big or small.
Achieving your financial goals is not an overnight feat. It takes careful planning and execution, and it lasts a lifetime. Planning can be less stressful and time consuming with the proper team behind you, supporting your every step.
Below are a few more articles you may find useful regarding your own retirement plan. And as always, please contact our team with any questions or concerns about your retirement options. We are always happy to help!
The Biddle Johnston Wealth Management Team