Archive for Retirement
When it comes time to retire most people have mixed feelings. A part of you looks forward to it because you want the freedom and time to explore other interests, while another part of you is worrying that retirement will be disappointing even be a major challenge for you. How will retirement change your life? Will you be able to manage financially? Will you get bored or miss your friends and co-workers? There sure are a lot of unknowns.
Mistake #1. A mistake people make when they retire is that they do not take the time to sit down and make any type of plan. They have this glimpse of what may lay ahead of them and what retirement may be like, but they do not create a plan of how they would like their life to look. They leave nearly everything to chance. When I talk about making a plan I am not just talking about financial planning. Finances are definitely important; it is the number one topic on a person’s mind when they think retirement. However finances are by no means the only thing that is worthy of planning when it comes to retirement.
Solution: Make a plan whether you are single or a couple. If you are a couple sit down together and discuss what your expectations are and how you would both like your retirement to look. Take various aspects of your life such as where and how you may want to live. Other than what you may have saved for your retirement how much money you have coming in each month and how you will use it. Plan a realistic budget. How you think you would like to spend your time. As a couple how might being together more affect your relationship and how you may deal with it. How you plan on staying healthy. What will you do socially? Where will family and Friends fit in?
Mistake #2. Many people don’t realize what an impact retirement has on them emotionally, mentally and physically. A lot of people feel they are no longer valuable to society when they retire, this can lead to depression which can lead to hiding away from the world which leaves some retirees feeling lonely and isolated. Many when they quit their job they break off the connections they had when they were in the work place.
Solution: Make a point of keeping in touch with your friends and co workers that you enjoyed being with, or make sure that you do something to meet new people. Join groups, take classes get out meet people. Loneliness and depression are emotions that unchecked could lead to mental and physical issues too.
Mistake #3. Not taking care of your own needs. Being afraid or feeling too guilty to say No! It is surprising how many people end up over committing their time to others and not doing what they want to do for themselves. This is especially so for those with kids and grandkids. Often a parent will retire only to be working harder and longer than ever looking after their grandkids. With some it is looking after their parents. As much as we may love them and want to help our parents and kids we can sometimes be taken advantage of. When you have worked all your life and looked forward to retirement you have to give this a lot of thought.
Solution: Be clear with what you are willing to do and what you are not. Obviously there are circumstances when situations are dire that you don’t really have a choice but in many cases what starts out as a favor or a little help or a little time can turn into something much more demanding, leaving your own retirement plans on hold indefinitely. Encourage them to look for other alternatives other than just you. Set a time limit right at the outset or figure out away to share the responsibility around so it doesn’t all fall on you. You need to have some of your well deserved time so that you can enjoy your retirement.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy we just fall into situations that can easily get out of hand or become an expectation. Plan and take some control over your life and choices before situations get away from you and it gets too difficult to bring things back into focus.
Life over 50 may not be what you expected -
No matter where you live in the western world things have changed!
We all know that change is inevitable, that nothing stays the same. But for some reason once you are over 50 a lot of big changes take place that we may not really be prepared for. I don’t think that I’ve ever met anyone that just can’t wait to turn 50, and 10 years later for many turning 60 is even worse.
Most of us reach these age milestones with trepidation and a smile on our face to the world even if we are not feeling it in our hearts. It’s another reminder of how time is slipping away from us. Even though there may still be 60 minutes in an hour and 7 days in a week, boy does time seem to go by faster each year as we get older. It brings home how short a lifetime really is, so if there are things you want or need to do you had better get on with it!
If we want to survive and thrive in our later life we do have to reinvent ourselves, sometimes more than once and become more resilient in order to manage the challenges that we will probably have to face. In my parents and grandparents time 50 was old, and it always appeared to me that once people got older and into their senior years, somehow they were more settled into life and they sort of plodded along and accepted the status Quo and retirement was short lived for many and not because they chose to return to work. Were they really happy with it – who knows but on the whole they accepted it and didn’t know any better. But that’s definitely not the case anymore!
Just think about it back then how many parents aged 50 plus had young children at home with them unless it was their grandchildren. Today it’s pretty common to have parents in their ‘50s and 60s with kids in school or collage. How many in the age group of 50, 60, and 70 plus were getting divorced, never mind out dating again. Not to mention beginning a new career path in their 50s or running a business for the first time while in their 60s or 70s. How many women on their own or men for that matter at retirement age packed up everything to move to another part of the world where they spoke a different language? This is the way it is for many over 50s these days.
Today’s over 50s seniors are the pioneers for future generations, we don’t want to plod along to the end we want adventure, excitement, opportunities and more. The world has changed and so have we!
The economy is the pits and many plans have been waylaid through no fault of our own. We have trusted others with our hard earned money and many lost out because of it. A lot of people are sick of being told that everything is ‘with the people’s interest at heart’ only to see things getting worse day by day. No wonder so many people want change and they are not prepared to listen to any more bull, and many are taking the ‘bull by the horns’ and making some big decisions for themselves. Most of people are beginning to realize that in the end they are on their own and no one will have your interests at heart better than you. It is up to each one of us to reinvent ourselves and our life if we want to survive the changes in today’s world.
Think about what’s happening in your life. Is it going the way you want? If stuff is happening that you don’t like, didn’t expect, wish was different then you’ve probably already discovered that dwelling on it or burying your head in the sand doesn’t help to change it. Use that energy in finding better solutions and options. Don’t waste anymore time just plodding along, feeling hopeless reinvent yourself and your life!
I’ve often asked seniors, and soon to become retiree friends to think about what it would be like to live life in reverse. What would you do differently if you could? Not surprisingly many say they wouldn’t put the same importance to the material stuff and would take much more time to travel and enjoy life’s experiences when young enough and physically fit enough to participate fully.
They would choose a more simple life over being bogged down with owning so much stuff. We know that the ideal retirement dream for many seniors is to have more time in the sun, on the beach, golf and travel. Really this is what many people want at any age but retirement is usually the only time when people can take the time if they are financially able to make this a reality.
The truth is that most of us get caught up with the need to own stuff only to realize when we are older that often this very stuff we worked so hard to acquire helps to keep us stuck and financially strapped rather than having the money available to fulfill our retirement plans. Think of how hard we had to work to get the money to buy all the stuff in the first place. And if that’s not enough how many of us have had to get a bigger place to hold all this stuff? What if we had saved more and wasted less!
If you had been able to resist the temptation of all that stuff and made better choices how could your life have been different? Some people learned the lesson much sooner and didn’t have to wait to retire to get their turn of some real R and R and a simple uncluttered life. Those already living a simple life are often the ones that do not seem to have a lot and this is by choice. Maybe they are smarter than the rest of us and figured out the value of the simple life and the freedom that it offers. They didn’t have to wait until they were older and wiser to figure it out. Many of them are living the lifestyle that so many of us see as a reward for having worked all year for, a week or maybe two to spend experiencing a life that makes us feel good. They are probably not doing it as luxuriously as a week’s vacation but they are living it 24/7. Read More→
Where you will live in retirement is a question worth careful consideration. We keep hearing that retirement is getting further out of reach of many seniors and many retirees are not retiring with the original plans they made intact. A financial plan that they may have thought would give them a decent standard of living through their retirement years. Where you live can be a huge factor in how you’ll live!
If you are over 50 you know that you’ll have some major changes ahead of you and you’ll probably have already figured it out that the older you get the faster time seems to go by, keeping that in mind it’s best to plan ahead of retirement where and how you will live to get the most benefit or at least what you hope will be your retirement date.
For many seniors there will be lifestyles changes ahead that will probably mean downsizing your living space and having one that is more adaptable to your needs and personal lifestyle. Besides the practical logistics there’s the financial aspect too, you’ll most likely want or need to reduce your living costs. A lot of people wait until they are past really benefiting from making a sensible living plan, they stay in a home that is too big, needs too much care and attention and eats up too much of their income until one day they are forced to make the move. Some struggle with the maintenance of the home until they can no longer physically do it, others scrimp and save and go without necessities to pay higher bills that are unnecessary when they could have been living more comfortably. It is important to look at the big picture and don’t put off something that can make all the difference to your future. Read More→
Waiting for VA benefits to finally kick in can be like planning your dream vacation three years from now and having to cross off the spaces on the calendar until the big day arrives. It is so frustrating that most Americans will have to wait up to 36 months for the money that they have earned unless they apply through a qualified professional who can help them to get their benefits faster.
If you want to get your money in less time you need to determine if you are eligible and apply for VA benefits through an expert who knows all the legalities of this topic. Just because you have a lawyer friend who has handled other issues for you in the past does not mean that you have to remain loyal to them. This is your money and you should do what you need to make sure that you receive it faster!
Do You Qualify?
There are basically three things to consider when determining if you qualify for VA benefits being your military history, current assets and your health.
• Service – Did you serve at least one day during wartime or were you honorably discharged? Were you active for at least 90 days? If so, chances are very good that you are entitled to VA benefits.
• Assets – Your military status does not necessarily guarantee that you will receive benefits, you also need take your assets into consideration. As a rule, your retirement funds, investments and secondary property cannot exceed $50,000 for a single veteran or $80,000 for a qualifying individual who is married.
• Health – There is an Aid and Attendance Pension that is specifically designed to assist in covering costs of long-term medical care. It grants you supplemental income based entirely on your condition. To qualify, you need to require assistance for daily activities, be close to blind or legally blind or reside in some type of extended care facility.
How do You Apply?
With all of the economic doom and gloom that we are constantly exposed to how do you see your retirement years? Will you still be able to live your dream retirement or will you be one of the many that will be scraping by just to make ends meet?
A number of years ago it looked like the retirement dream was achievable for many, especially if they had been doing what has always been encouraged and that is investing and saving to build a financial portfolio that would comfortably sustain them through their retirement years.
That special retirement dream will remain just a dream for so many more seniors now, many have had to give up any thought of retirement -period. Many are facing way more financial pressure than their parents did. Many seniors will still have mortgages to pay some have had to refinance their homes just to get by.
It doesn’t look as if things are going to improve anytime soon either, so it’s not just affecting the already retired and the soon to be retired it can have long term affects for those Baby Boomers way down the road.
The over 50s are soon approaching retirement age and most have no idea what it will mean to them by the time they get there. The current economic climate is swallowing up people’s nest eggs left right and center. Many have had to start pulling in their belts now which is not a bad thing because most can cut back on unnecessary expenses which will make you more aware of the changes that can be made when it’s really needed. Read More→
If you are at the point that you are seriously thinking about living in Mexico then you have probably spent considerable time checking out where are the best places to retire. You want to know what the pros and cons are.
There is little doubt that there are some beautiful places in Mexico and what is more Mexico is a great place if you are looking for lots of sunshine. Let’s be honest the sun is something that most of us are looking for especially if you live in a place with long cold winters.
If you’ve been doing your research on places to retire for a while you will probably be aware that every year there are countries that are voted the best place in the world to live or the best place to retire.
For various reasons the results do change so one year it may be Panama that is voted the #1 choice another year it may be Ecuador, or Nicaragua, other years it’s Mexico. Even though Mexico may not be seen to be the cheapest place anymore it still remains one of the favorites.
Mexico has been voted the top place to retire many times over. One of the main attractions for retirees to live in places like Mexico is the opportunity to have a higher quality of living with a lower cost, making it affordable for many to live well on a fixed income. An opportunity to live with more for less, something most would not be able to do in their home country.
Mexico has had a lot of bad publicity over the last few years and it should not be ignored. However, Mexico is a big country with a large population and many of the problems related to the drug wars are located in or near the border towns but there are isolated incidents in other parts too. Even so statistics show that each year more and more people are going there for vacations and to retire.
With the economy so bad; especially in the US where many people are being forced out of the homes and losing their retirement savings is it any wonder that they are looking for less expensive options. Mexico is also ideally situated for many Americans and Canadians that want to go back and forth to Mexico or have family in these countries that they want to have visit. With regular and somewhat affordable flights still available plus the shorter flying time it is also one of the pros to be considered.
Another big factor is health care, especially for retirees. Obviously they will most likely start needing more health care as they age. Already there are thousands of Americans that go south of the boarder to get their prescriptions, dental work and other medical care. Between the high numbers of those without health care insurance and the expensive cost of prescriptions in the US is it any wonder that they want to cross the border to visit Mexico and make these huge savings. Read More→
Once we are into our 50s and 60s most of us start to give a lot more thought to where and how we are going to live as we continue to age. Retirement living and making decisions of where you are going to possibly spend your final years is a scary thought, but something you should address for yourself while you still can. Who would have thought how fast the years would go by and that the time would come when these things would have to be considered?
Like me you have probably watched friends and relatives dealing with issues with their aging parents or you may have even been dealing with your own parent’s loss of independence. It is a constant reminder of how life changes as we get old and what our own ability will be to stay living at home and being independent. Planning retirement living is a big consideration.
As we consider what is best for our aging parent sometimes it just isn’t possible to do what they or we would really like to for them. Sometimes heath issues dictate the decisions, also finances or physical location can play a factor.
Over the years I have seen families dealing with their aging parents, having the worry of making retirement living decisions on what’s the best accommodation option for them in their old age when they are no longer able to be independent. As well they are often dealing with the guilt of having to make less than ideal decisions for their parents.
Things have changed a lot in recent years, where at one time many elderly were determined to stay in their house or apartment, often living alone. They stayed until they were just not able to care for themselves any longer. From there they had to go into a home, stay with family or just passed away. Read More→
How to reduce debt in retirement is a question more and more seniors are asking. Most seniors will see a reduction in their income throughout their retirement years so the last thing they need is to incur more debt.
Those that are long term planners are more likely to be adequately prepared when it’s time for them to retire. They are more likely to retire debt free and have a good financial plan in place.
There are many more people that may have been living pay cheque to pay cheque leaving nothing for an emergency. When unexpected expenses come up they will be more likely to go into debt to meet that expense. When you are already living pay cheque to pay cheque it doesn’t take a lot to get into debt. It becomes a vicious circle.
When you recognize that you are getting into debt-don’t ignore it! Start making changes right away and if you don’t know how; get some help from a professional in this area. You need to know where you can start to cut back on costs and the sooner the better. Ignoring debt and not opening bills will make a bad situation worse and it’s just the same as burying your head in the sand and will create more stress. Read More→
We all have visions of spending our golden years enjoying our freedom; doing things we want to do and having the time to do them but can you really afford to retire? It seems that more and more people that I come across that are close to retirement age, or that have already retired are becoming increasingly concerned about their finances. So many people today are wondering if they will outlive their finances. With healthier lifestyles and the advancements in medicine many people could live longer in their retirement years than they may have spent in the workforce.
About ten years ago more workers were talking about retiring in their 50s and for many their aim was to retire at 55. Then things changed drastically and a large number had to rethink their retirement goals. Some of those that had already retired found themselves looking for work again. Most of us know that once you are over 50 years of age finding work becomes more challenging, so many of those took jobs that were at minimum wage and way below what they are qualified to do.
Now, even the thought of retiring at age 65 has become just a dream for many, because they just can’t afford to give up their jobs. I am hearing more say that they will have to continue to work until they are age 70 or longer if their health holds out. A number have even admitted that they can’t afford to live to be old.One friend that was living off the interest of her investments for a while about 10 years ago has since lost those investments. Fortunately, she did manage to find work and is making a living while in her late 50s but she like millions of others has genuine concerns about her future and the fact that trying to live on less than $1000 a month when rent or mortgage costs alone are considerably higher than that. This is a huge concern for millions of seniors today. Is it any wonder that so many are searching for other countries to live in where they can actually afford to live on their small fixed income? Read More→