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Retirement Planning For Your Future Years May 23, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Retirement Planning, Review , 1 comment so far

How should one react when someone who is in his early forties boisterously announces his retirement from the “rat race?”


How should one react when at forty he predicts his early retirement would ensure that he lives beyond 120 years – giving him 80 years of future life to live and enjoy?


This got me thinking towards what my retirement plans were and honest to goodness answer was – Nothing. I haven’t had the mind space to think about it at all. To me, retirement planning comes as a very different animal when compared to investment planning and planning your kids’ future. To me, it is preparing yourself for the sunset days.


I called back my friend after a week to educate myself. Here is the question and answer session which lasted for over two hours:


Dialogue between Me & My Friend:


Me: Do you think you have reached the correct retirement age or is it a knee jerk reaction to the miseries at work?


My Friend: It is a reaction to miseries of life, my life. For eighteen years I have lived only for someone else. Retiring early gives me reasons to live for myself too. As far as the correct retirement age is concerned – I know it has arrived for me. However, I don’t know if it is the same for you. I think my two hours would translate to more monetary benefits than my nine to never ending job did.


Me: Are you confident that you will be able to maintain and grow your living standard post retirement?


My Friend: I never lacked confidence but I always had it at stake. Today, my confidence is a free bird. To me it is important to have the confidence that I will enjoy my sunset years and live it to the fullest. Because enjoying a second life is a big challenge in itself to many of our peer group. Living standard and life style are very subjective and geography dependent. So, I have defined their boundaries and set my own living standards.


Me: Would your investments be able to provide hedge against exceptional inflation and money market crisis? Your fortune may be wiped out due to unforeseen circumstances, you don’t have hundreds of millions, your savings as per you are are modest, how’s your `what if analysis’? What all does it budget for?


My Friend: The word unforeseen is self explanatory, yes you are right exceptional money market crisis and inflation may threaten my existence, however they would threaten it either way whether I am working or not. I would have mind-space when that happens and my being retired would surely give me a better window to correct things and my reaction would be faster than those who would be in midst of the crisis.I have done some what of geographic hedging, some currency hedging and some investment in bullion and real estate. Yes, it is a conscious hedging, things may go wrong still, and I know that.  



Me: What do you think are the options for your future years? Would you really be able to relax and keep yourself busy?


My Friend: I am not throwing away my organized living habits, I am just rejigging my priorities. My options are mixed bag of personal/ social and commercial activities. From 80% commercial life, I am down to 20% commercial. I have time for my dentist sessions and my ophthalmologist. I can actually spend twenty minutes on my much needed eye exercises. Less stress has improved my driving, bringing down the probability of any serious accident. For the first time I have time to spend on causes which have always been close to me, I am glad, I am actually going beyond the lip service.


Me: You know, our company has been working with a very `young’ man who drives fast red cars, his project is all about retirement and beyond, http://www.futureyears.com is coming up as the most challenging project. Being there done that always adds a new dimension to the project, Jim Sutton is doing exactly that with Future Years. Jim has had a great first life and now is working for an equally exciting second life. I must also check with him his personal views about life after retirement.


My Friend: Yes, that would be exciting to know.


My Friend: What all does FutureYears.com cover and which geography does it address too.


Me: As per Karin, Jim’s partner in this venture, Future Years covers all that you  need to know to enjoy your golden years. If I recall correctly, Future Years covers travel; health; finances; insurance; conducive and healthy locales to retire too and a whole lot of other things. I am told, Wikipedia.org also has a rich section on retirement planning.


My friend: What about careers and post retirement job information on the internet. 


Me: There should be a lot of information on the internet, in specific, I am sure  about http://www.futureyears.com - the site has quite a few sections dedicated  to post retirement career options, if only you wish so. LoL. On a lighter side, I remember a section on active travel and cruises.


This session with my friend, and subsequent discussions with Jim & Karin  convinced me that it is never too early to plan for your retirement. Your future is secure the day you start doing retirement planning, so that way, sooner the better.