Too many people put emphasis on retirement life and how it’s going to be spectacular.
You’re either thrilled about your retirement life whether it’s today or years into the future.
Is retirement life really going to be the time of your life?
This is the unknown question that we all need to somewhat prepare for in advance.
There are so many ways retirement life can go wrong.
As you will read below a call from my mum and dad was chock-a-block full of questions I had for them.
Oddly enough retirement is based around money and how much you can save to live your dream life.
Your financial advisor tells you that by the time you retire you will have a million dollars.
Having an income stream for life from investments paired with government pensions sounds fabulous on paper.
All the positives you want to hear about investing while sitting around a pool drinking margaritas.
It’s easy to get caught up in the belief that retirement life will be the best years of your life.
Unfortunately, not considering the negative side of retirement life frankly is scary.
Today I want to discuss ways retirement life can turn sour and quickly.
Does Life Begin When You Retire?
As much as I want to agree with that question, I cannot since many of us won’t even be around to see our retirement.
Sad isn’t it? Everything you’ve planned and worked so hard for when you retire and you’re not around.
This is why it’s important to balance your life while you can and not wait until the end.
With budgeting this is possible and bothers me when people avoid the topic of saving money.
What Is Retirement Life?
Retirement life is more than just sleeping in or passing out for afternoon naps whenever you want.
It’s exactly what you dreamed about minus having to answer to a boss, selling or leaving your business to someone else.
You’re the boss of your life unless something happens that is out of your control.
In essence your retirement life is about freedom of choice without anyone telling you yes or no.
These are supposed to be the glory days when all that matters is putting your retirement savings to work.
You’ve planned goals for retirement and invested money for many years and now you want to use it.
Oh, but wait!
Something has happened and now your retirement lifestyle plans are put on hold.
How Do You Live A Retired Life?
In the past I’ve wanted to know what retirees do all day and there’s no definitive answer.
For one, your retired life is personal which means you will be doing what makes you happy.
If getting up early, grabbing a coffee and going fishing for the day is your thing, you’ll do that.
However, if you have a spouse or partner planning road trips or hotel stays in cities you’ve never visited in Canada is another adventure.
What retired life boils down to is;
For example, my parents officially retired in their 70’s in the UK after home sitting for years.
They didn’t need to home sit but did it for the extra income and used it as a getaway.
My parents are funny that way but smart I guess since they don’t need the cash so it’s just a perk.
For years now, they would travel to Tunisia for a month’s holiday as it was cheap and the people were good to them.
Their passion was to travel but to places that were not overwhelming for them and they’ve done it.
My mum and dad would tend to the house themselves and created a backyard oasis.
That’s where I got my ideas for building a rock garden for our property.
You’ll find flowers blooming and a quiet space to enjoy morning coffee or afternoon tea.
For them living the simple life is where they are at because their health is not keeping up.
Retirement Life And Travel Insurance
Unfortunately both of my parents have had knee operations and walking is much slower for them.
My dad has also had some heart problems and all of this combined makes for expensive travel insurance.
Not only that but my dad told me that he just doesn’t have the energy to pack, fly and make sure the house is secure.
What once was their passion slowly died because getting older doesn’t mean you will be 110%.
My mum told me over the phone that although travelling was in their retirement life plans they just can’t do it any longer.
Shorter day trips works better for them and as we all know there are plenty of places to visit in the UK.
Sun Life Go gives people the flexibility to help meet health and financial needs with convenient access to insurance coverage.
So for now if I want to see my parents we’ll have to travel to the United Kingdom which is fine with us.
Retirement Life Planning And Housing
Both Mrs. CBB and I have talked about where we want to live when we retire as most couples do.
What we have also tossed into the mix is the type of housing we’d want.
As well, what if one of us gets sick and needs in-house medical care, long-term care, retirement lifestyle care or even worse, death.
All of the things that some people fail to register in their minds when socking money away for retirement investing.
Living the dream with the cash to do so is one thing but not being able to physically is another.
All Canadians must save space in their retirement life dreams for the negatives and the positives.
It’s more about creating that plan B for retirement like you would for budgeting or needing extra cash.
Around two weeks ago I found out that my mum and dad sold their primary residence and are moving.
They will be moving to a home that is one level so there is no going up and down stairs.
Who really wants to move in their 70s? Not me which is why it should be a consideration before you begin retired life.
When I asked my mum why they sold their house she convinced me why it was for the best.
Below are the general topics that we conversed about and I’m happy they are thinking ahead.
- Is your health good enough going up and downstairs?
- Can you keep up with cleaning the house?
- How much yard maintenance can you do?
- Can you afford people to help take care of your home?
- How much home do you really need for 2 seniors?
- They had far too much stuff and wanted to get rid of almost all of it.
Basically the above topics were what we discussed and it gave me insight into retirement life.
Although I’m far from retiring there are things we want to do and things we need to consider ahead of time.
My parents are moving closer to my sister to have family close by in case they need help.
Right now they are still looking for a retirement home to settle in that they hopefully stay in forever.
I’m happy that they have done this since I’m power of attorney who believes that less is better.
What Should You Not Do During Retirement Life?
I can think of a few things that retired folks should take into consideration when they retire.
The main considerations are whether there will be enough money and outliving their savings.
Unfortunately a million dollars doesn’t go that far depending on the lifestyle you lead.
Although retirement life should be fun and filled with adventures it’s easy to go broke fast.
17 Retirement Life Challenges To Consider
Consider the following challenges that could fold or change your retirement plans.
- Blowing your retirement savings on things you don’t need
- Investments didn’t work out as planned and you received less
- Buying expensive cars, trucks, campers, trailers that don’t fit your retirement lifestyle
- Not using a senior’s monthly budget to plan with the retirement income you do get
- Having a mortgage or debts you still need to pay for can be stressful (Can You Inherit Debt?)
- Becoming ill and no longer able to care for yourself
- Modifications to your home to accommodate illness
- Loss of your driver’s licence due to illness or other reasons
- Planning Your Funeral In Advance or talk about it (Average Canadian Funeral Costs)
- Not Keeping fit, eating healthy and socializing causing loneliness
- Avoiding self-care or the way that you look and dress (motivate yourself with beauty)
- Neglecting Estate planning including updating your Will
- Not understanding all of the available services for seniors in your community
- Consider health benefits if you have none or for items not covered by the government
- Not taking advantage of seniors discounts and savings are missed opportunities
- You outlive your retirement savings
- One of you passes away and your spouse is faced with a frozen bank account
Writing An Online Will In Canada
An Epilogue Will is a simple, fast, and affordable way for Canadians to create their Will and Powers of Attorney online.
Another great online Will Kit provider that is popular in Canada is Canadian Legal Wills.
Bonus: You still need emergency savings when you retire for those times you need fast cash.
Create A Retirement Life Vision Board
I loved this idea when I heard about it because having a vision is better than not knowing your next step.
A retirement life vision board is a window into what you want to do when you retire.
Create a web of ideas on a vision board (white board, cork board, chalkboard or paper).
Make it colourful and big so you can share your board with your spouse, partner or for yourself.
To created a retirement life vision board you will want to consider the following.
- Pretend you are already retired and use your days off to get a better understanding of what you might do. Don’t call in sick to work, lol. Use a couple of vacation days if you can.
- Make notes about what your typical retirement day might look like using detailed examples such as eating out, hobbies, travelling, road trips. Are there any common adventures you have with your spouse? I’d suggest you both created a retirement life vision board separately.
- On your vision board cut out visions from magazines or flyers. You can even colour your vision board.
- Talk to your parents, neighbours or friends who have already retired for advice.
- What have you always wanted to do but decided to wait until you were retired?
- Do you consider working after you retire? Put it on your vision board.
Adjusting To Retirement Life Takes Time
Retirement life comes with an adjustment period especially if you’ve been working full-time and not sure how to spend your days.
For some people such as my parents retirement life means picking up side-jobs just to stay busy.
Other options are to join local seniors clubs, try new things or perhaps start a hobby.
Another consideration is planning retirement life when you have little to no retirement savings.
If you haven’t or couldn’t invest in your retirement expect to live a simple retirement but fulfilling.
You don’t have to jet away to sunny destinations nor own a cottage on the lake to be retirement happy.
Make the final years the best years of your life by being realistic and having a retirement plan B.
Eventually it will work itself out however keeping your mind busy, physical activity and doing what you want without breaking limits.
For example, flying all over the world without considering how the expenses will affect your retirement budget,
I hope what I’ve learned from talking to my mum and dad and other retired folks helps give you something to consider before retirement life.
Discussion: Have you considered any of the negative impacts to your retirement life?
Share your thoughts below.