Introduction: Why we look forward to Retirement
The topic of retirement is a popular and peculiar one. Many people look forward to their retirement for different reasons. As much as work is an essential part of our humanity, we still look forward to retirement. Maybe for many people, retirement is all about putting a stop to work and enjoying untold leisure and entertainment (that they could not enjoy while in the working population).
However, for many people, retirement is not about ceasing from every productive activity or spending time in idleness. It is about doing a work they are passionate about without caring about the income. For some, it is about finally starting a business they like. Many people look forward to it as an opportunity to finally give themselves for some charity work, mission trips, or advocacy. A large number of people just want to travel around the world.
In a survey by AAG, 64% of women and 47% of men respondents will spend their time in retirement volunteering.
The Growing Interest in Financial Independence
There is a growing interest in financial independence in our modern world. The reason, I believe, is tied to the same reason many people look forward to retirement – a desire to finally do what they are passionate about irrespective of the income.
In the same survey by AAG, 46% of respondents say they will retire immediately if they win the lottery. Twenty-one percent of respondents will leave their current job without retiring. While this is not the main reason for retirement, I believe it is a major one.
Today we hear a lot of talk about people trying to achieve financial independence in their 30s or 40s. Many people want to retire in their 40s or 50s. As I said earlier, for many of these people, the goal is not to spend the rest of their lives in endless leisure and entertainment.
Anticipating retirement involves lots of planning. However, one of the most critical plans when looking forward to retirement is financial planning. There must be a plan in place to achieve financial independence before or at retirement. Whatever be the reason you are looking forward to retirement, it is easier for you to achieve those goals when you attain financial independence.
Therefore, while it is essential to make plans for where you want to do, places you want to explore, and what you will be doing during retirement, financial planning must take a central stage.
Also, the earlier you start, the better. If you start planning for retirement now, you will be able to achieve your goals earlier with less stress. If you are already saving for retirement via your employer, you still need to think through many essential things. Many people have retirement accounts with their employers, but they do not even have a clue how it works or whether the present structure of things is what they need to achieve their goals.
If there is one thing we have emphasized on this blog, it is the importance of planning. Every decision and every step must flow out from a well-documented and thought out plan. You must not leave your finances to chance.
Conclusion: The Journey to Retirement
If you want to attain financial independence at retirement, you must take the journey to retirement seriously. It begins from now until the time you plan to retire. To achieve the life you want, you must take specific steps now. To reap a harvest in the future, you must do the hard work of planting and nurturing in the present.
This article is an introduction to our theme for this quarter: planning for retirement. In the weeks to come, we will look at different retirement topics. The goal is to help you attain financial independence so you can live the life you want (and deserve) when retirement comes knocking. Stay tuned.