Welcome to 2018. Congratulations and Happy New Year. As far as I’m concerned, every New Year in the life of an aspiring retiree and a retiree is an opportunity to re-fire.
Formation of new year resolutions is often the general practise in our society at the beginning of the year such as this hence the question this piece seeks to tackle is basically what kind of resolution should aspiring retirees form and subsequently seek to achieve within the next twelve months. The responsibilities of this column also include ensuring that the resolutions are workable after all said and done.
It suffices to state that one key factor in ensuring the workability of a New Year resolution is a clear cut appraisal of past and current events upon which the resolutions should hinge, the other critical factor is the discipline to adhere to basic rules of success in any endeavour of which retirement planning is one. The following lines and discussions in the next couple of weeks on this column shall focus on what aspiring retirees should consider or the questions to ask and the steps to take in making New Year resolutions achievable in what could be regarded as the working document in the planning for a fulfilling retirement.
To my mind, New Year resolutions are the set of goals an individual aims at achieving during the course of the year; in other words, a resolution could also be regarded as the plan for a better future hence, it is better to have unachieved resolution than none at all. It is an extremely bitter truth that a future not planned for will undoubtedly bring with it unplanned misfortunes for this is the nature of life; it might be strange to you but it is true that misfortunes and calamities are existing natural or manmade occurrences seeking where to reside and truly, they do easily identify planners afar off and move in the opposite direction because plans are natural conquerors of life’s misfortunes; in other words, if you learn to plan ahead and you posses the discipline to bring the plans to pass, your misfortunes would be few if at all, no matter the relative limitations set by the environment. How should you start your year as an aspiring retiree?
The first step is to form a resolution to achieve more in savings, investments and planning for your years after work beyond the performances of last year. To my mind, things are difficult, planning don’t come easy but be resolute that come what may, you will spend less and save more in 2018. The working document to guide you may just be as follows:
(1). CONSIDER YOUR NEW AGE: A new year is nothing but the addition to the years you have worked in an organisation and the subtraction of a year from the years left to work hence, the first step is to take your time to calculate how many more years you’ve got left to actively work. I guess the consciousness of the fact that you are closer to retirement should naturally spur you to rethink your plans most probably with the intent of positively adjusting them to suit the realities of today.
To my mind, the consciousness of the years left to work could be akin to the preparation for an examination, where a well prepared student boldly and eagerly awaits the d-day with enthusiasm while the unprepared student prays for an extension of date. In all, never mind; no matter what your level of preparedness or unpreparedness might have been, the essence of this column is to help you plan and that we shall do God’s willing. Meanwhile, I need to emphasise here that there is a world of difference between the number of years you have got left to work and the years to live. This column is not intended to help you plan for death so there’s nothing to fear, more so as there are lots of years ahead after retirement. So what next after the consideration of your current age vis-à-vis the years left to actively work?
(2). YOUR LEVEL OF PREPARATIONS: This for real is where the major jobs are but I will try as much as possible to make this easy by listing out what the key considerations should be. The followings are samples to guide. It becomes your responsibilities to develop on them.
(A). TOTAL NETWORTH:
Your total net worth in various forms of investments and savings should be calculated. These should include the followings:
- PENSION CONTRIBUTION- Knowing the status of your pension contributions as the primary source of retirement funding is imperative at the beginning of a year hence, I will suggest you call for your account balance from your pension managers. If you aren’t satisfied with the balance or you feel you have performed below expectations in contribution, you might have to increase your monthly contribution within the next twelve months.
- RATE YOUR PENSION ADMINISTRATOR- Have you taken the time to class pension managers or you feel all of them are same in quality and proficiency? The beginning of the year is the best period to consider the performance of your pension managers to see how well they are growing or depleting your savings. Your findings might lead you to a decision to scrutinise various pension managers and switch your account from a passive to the manager that has the highest potentials of growing your savings and how do you arrive at the best judgement of the pension managers that can grow your savings? Performances of RSA and retirees funds of PFAs are often here in this newspaper.
- USE YOUR BONUSES AND YEARLY SALARY INCREASE WELL: There would be need to align your level of contribution with the projections at retirement to see how many years this might likely carry you when you eventually retire. I will plead with those that still have many years ahead to work to yet increase their contributions owing to current and unforeseen realities. And where does the fund to increase your monthly pension contribution comes from? Very simple, from your yearly salary increase as an employee but how do you achieve this as a business owner or when you work for organisation where the structure doesn’t support regular yearly increase? You just need to tighten your belt by adjusting your expenditure pattern. We’ve got lots to discuss in weeks ahead. Please just stay connected.
(B). YOUR INVESTMENT: It is best at the beginning of the year to put all your investments together for a valuation. By investments, I mean your stock holdings, real estate ownership, bond and other money market instruments. Your investments also include your creditors. Please painstakingly put all these together for an objective valuation at current market prices. It is also imperative to see the form of investment that had yielded so much to this period and the ones that had depleted your funds. Much more than that, you would need to consider the potentials of all the investment vehicles to see where better potentials abound this year in the face of current realities.
If your valuation is right, there may be the need to reshuffle by selling some to invest in some others because really, I see no reason why you should keep holding a form of unprofitable investment for long. Please note that the fewer your years to retirement, the lower the risks you should carry therefore, the beginning of the year such as this is the period to move from risky investment vehicles to more low risk ones in order to protect your funds since protection is more important to those with few years to retirement than returns. If you are however still young, there’s no risk in carrying a measure of sensible or calculated risks.
There are sure more to discuss so let’s meet next week. Feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org