How to retire successfully
Everyone wants to enjoy a comfortable and rewarding retirement, but few of us put in the work needed to correctly plan for retirement. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare for retirement.
How do I prepare for retirement?
Set your retirement goals
Start by thinking what a successful retirement looks like to you. Where would you like to retire? Are you planning on staying close to home or would you consider moving to a beautiful part of the country? Are you planning on travelling, and if so, what kind of holidays do you see yourself taking? What kind of lifestyle will you pursue? Are you a homebody who plans on spending lots of time gardening and baking, or would you like to be active, participating in sports like golf, bowls, tennis and swimming? What new hobbies or sports have you always wanted to try? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try hiking, bird watching or photography. Once you have an idea of what it means to retire successfully, you can create a plan to get you there.
Look at your timeline
Understanding how long you have until you retire can help you put a solid plan in place. Once you know what you would like your retirement to look like, you can start setting savings goals to create that lifestyle. You will need to decide how soon you plan to retire. Some people hope for an early retirement, while others want to continue working as long as they are able to.
Enlist the help of an expert
Speak to a financial advisor or retirement planner who can take a look at all your finances and help you start a retirement plan and ensure you’re saving enough on a monthly basis.
A retirement planner will help you solidify your timeline so you know how long you have to save, and how much money you will need for the lifestyle you want.
A retirement calculator is often a good place to get a basic idea of how much you need to save every month in order to retire successfully.
Diversify if you can
Most people contribute towards a retirement annuity or pension plan through their employer. Retirement annuities help you to save consistently, while offering a number of tax benefits. But beyond basic monthly retirement saving, you should be looking at other savings vehicles and investments, to ensure you have the best chance of a comfortable retirement.
Investing in a Tax Free savings account is one possibility for a diversified savings plan. You could also consider investing in the stock market by looking at an ETF that tracks the major shares on the market. While stock market investments are generally more risky than fixed return savings accounts, they can offer greater returns if you have tolerance for risk.
Property is a solid and relatively safe investment. Beyond your primary residence, you could look into owning a second home that you rent out. One option is to buy a retirement home within a well-managed estate that you can let out. The advantage of this is that you could pay off your bond long before retirement, meaning you can move into your retirement home bond-free. The Knysna Lifestyle Estate is an example of an estate where you could buy a comfortable retirement home and rent it out until you are ready to retire.
Focus on health over wealth
Take steps now to ensure you maintain a healthy body and mind. Wealth in retirement is important, but health should be a key priority. Daily exercise and a healthy diet will not just benefit you now, but will reward you for years to come. Develop interests in sports and hobbies that you can take into your retirement. Think about taking up a pastime like gardening, walking, birding, meditation or yoga – there are many activities you can start doing that don’t cost a lot of money, but will bring you many hours joy and relaxation in years to come.