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What to Expect When Retiring

What Are Your Retirement Expectations?


Those in their fifties and sixties tend to regret not having planned earlier for old age. As we age, the usual questions get asked. What are my retirement expectations? Will my money outlive my life? Can I spend money and still have enough to save? How much money should I leave my children? Should I relocate closer to my kids? What about a retirement community? The real question, however, is how to avoid decisions that may seem right today but are actually wrong for the future? Spare yourself some mistakes and regrets by knowing the 5 mistakes retired people tend to make. Avoiding these mistakes will help you prepare and keep you from having to alter your path later in life.  


1. Face Your Budget

Many retirement gurus say that expenses significantly drop by 30% when you retire. This is not always true. Of course, you won’t be working full time any longer after you retire and you have a different tax rate than the rest of the population. On the other hand, all the free time leads to a lot of expenses. You might be travelling more, having more lunches with the girls and dinners with the church group. House remodelling, starting new hobbies and the rising cost of health care may burn a hole in your pocket. Remember to face the reality of your budget head on. Balance is key. The vacation you waited so long to take? Take it- but then live conservatively for the months between vacations when you come back home.


2. Don’t Panic

Keep yourself busy during retirement but don’t jump at the first opportunity you see. Establish goals to achieve at this stage in life. Take your time thinking of the person that you are and what you like to do. Don’t rush into making hasty decisions. You may miss out on activities perfect for you if you rush and join the first group you see.


3. Remain True to Yourself!

Zebras don’t change their stripes when they turn sixty. Don’t try to alter who you are the moment you retire. Basically, the person you are at the moment will be the person you will always be. If you are a morning person, you will keep being a morning person. If you love exploring and trying new things, keep doing that. On the other side of the coin, if you are the cautious kind who likes to wait and see, you won’t be happy taking more risks at retirement. Some people make a mistake of being workaholics and retiring to a slower community and style of living. They tend to go back to doing activities that workaholics flourish in, such as open a new restaurant and work long hours, even after retirement. The moral of the story is to know yourself and remain true to who you really are at every age.


4. Say No to Greed

Don’t go crazy making an attempt to squeeze every last penny out of every investment. How can you know what is going to happen next when the even the experts struggle at times? The moment you set up your investment goals (including fixed and specific equity percentages), stick with it. Resist the urge to quickly switch funds when one sector soars. Appropriately rebalance your portfolio so that your initial goals will be achieved even with the recent moves in the market. Ask yourself the question of whether or not you would buy the same stock at the current price. If your answer is no, then you might want to consider selling. You may not be the only one who feels they are on their way down. Stick to your investment plan and invest diversely. Temper all your desires for huge gains and in the end, everything becomes win-win.


5. Invest Less Conservatively

If you are thinking of retiring or have already retired, many finance advisers advise more caution when you invest. They might tell you that at your age, you should not have to stress yourself out riding the market’s lows and highs. When it comes to retirement expectations, the truth is, you may not be as financially secure in your later years and miss out on strong bull markets if you invest too cautiously. Consider rebalancing your investment portfolio to fifty-fifty to take part in a growing, booming market.

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