There are many articles on the internet that will talk about what it takes to retire. However, I have found many of them don’t cover some of the real world aspects or retirement. Most talk about the financial side of retirement. Even though this is a very important factor, there are many other things for you to consider when retirement is near and you are ready to make such a big move in your life.
Money: Of course like everything else, money is a big concern in both retirement and in life. Most financial people will tell you that you will need about 75% of your current income in retirement. I can tell you though, that this is not the only factor. My wife and I are actually living quit comfortable on about 30% of what our pre retirement income was. It really comes down to just what do you want to do and how many years you expect it to last. You will see later on in this article how my wife and I did it with a lot less money.
Life Style: This to us was really the most important factor. Not only does it involve what you will do, but how much you will need to do it. You really need to figure this part out about your retirement before you can even make goals to help you reach you final destination which is retirement. My wife went from having two major careers and a 2500 square foot home to becoming a Full Timer in a 400 square foot Motorhome. My wife and I decided that we wanted to travel the country and see parts of the US that we have only heard about. However, this can be very costly, so we bought a Motorhome and traveled from campground to campground in areas we wanted to see. Campgrounds and National Forest are much cheaper than flying and staying in hotels. It’s also less expensive that owning a home and having a mortgage, electric, and water bill. With a motorhome, you have one bill at a campground, which include those utilities, some even include cable TV.
Hobbies: Once you have retired and don’t have to get up early for work anymore, it’s important that you have hobbies of some kind to help pass the time. This is the best time in life to do things you have always wanted to but never felt you had the time to do it. My wife and I chose to take up scuba diving. Many of the places we stay throughout the country are near lakes and rivers which allow us to explore a whole new world under the water. We also have started reading more books to keep our minds sharp. Whatever your interest are, this is a good time to explore them.
Supplementing Your Retirement Income: This is another method that can help you retire earlier than you may have originally thought. There are many methods on the internet to help you earn a little extra cash. One method, is taking the photo’s you have taken along your travels and sell them on the internet. You can also do something called Work Kamping. This is a method where you work at a campground for so many hours a week, normally 20, and in return they give you a site for free to stay on. If there are two of you that is only 10 hours each or about 2 days a week of work for free rent of a site. Keep in mind most sites include electric, water, and sewage this is a great thing. Most campgrounds pay you for hours over 20.
Expenses: This is an area that is very complicated to come up with figures for. There are a few web pages on the internet that will help you, but only you know your expenses. My wife and I’s biggest expense is medical premium’s. My wife and I don’t have a pension from a company and we are too young for Medicare or Social Security. You need to have some kind of medical coverage though, keep in mind, as you get older things start to go wrong more and hospital or doctor bills can empty your bank account much quicker than you would like it to. Even your food bill will go down. We find that we don’t eat out near as much as we use to when we worked. When you work, you are too tired to cook, when you get home, so eating out is convenient. Once you retire, you will have more time to cook, and eating at home is much cheaper than eating out all the time.
In closing, you may be closer to being able to retire than you thought. Even if you chose not to travel like my wife and I, you can still use the time to enjoy doing things you always wanted to. You can still supplement your income and do the hobbies you like. Just make sure you decide on your lifestyle before you sit down to try and figure out how close to your retirement goals you are. If you are not quite there yet, at least determining these things will help you reach your goals possible sooner.
Good Old Fashioned Hand Written Code by Eric J. Schwarz