Retirement Planning involves all activities from your first employment, up to and after your retirement geared towards ensuring that you and your needs are well provided for in the retirement phase of your life. In drawing up a retirement plan, it is critical to identify the following:
When would you retire? Depending on your outlook, and personal circumstances, people may choose to retire early, say before 50 years, while others will retire later, just at 60 years, or for however long their terms of employment permit. Many factors including your state of health, desire to pursue other activities, and very importantly the level of financial resources and responsibilities will affect the timing of your retirement. For some others, however, the timing of retirement is not entirely up to them. Sometimes accidents, ill-health, and employer-distress may lead to a pre-mature retirement.
What your activities could be during your retirement: During retirement, some people choose to continue in active life, supporting their communities, participating in politics or even running a full time business. Others may choose to limit themselves to light activities as traveling, visiting children and grandchildren, etc. It is important to plan ahead for how you will like to spend your retirement, and prepare yourself mentally and financially for whichever choice you make.
What kind of income will you need in retirement? Planning adequately for your financial needs in retirement is very important. It is therefore necessary to ascertain ahead of time, how much income you will need in retirement. In planning towards this, one may envisage family responsibilities, state of health, and life expectancy. For example, having children of school age at retirement, your financial needs will outstrip those who do not. If you already live in your own house and will not be paying rent during your retirement, then your financial needs will differ from someone who does not own a home.
What income to expect at retirement: Once you have ascertained your financial requirements at retirement, it is necessary to determine your income streams. For someone that has planned retirement early enough, income may come from investments such as dividends, capital appreciation, rental income as well as pension and other retirement benefits. Estimating your sources of income is important to enable you plan how to meet your needs at retirement.