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‘Unretirement’ trend grows as older South Africans head back to work

Janice Masencamp from writes:

“Here’s the good news. We’re living longer than ever before, and enjoying a better quality of life, while we do. The bad news is that less than 10% of South Africans have enough money to retire, which means many older people are working for longer just to make ends meet.

It’s part of a global trend known as ‘unretirement’, which is seeing older people across the world flooding back to the workforce to supplement their incomes or simply to stay busy – and it’s having a major impact on retirement planning, says employee benefits advisory firm NMG Benefits.

Statistics SA data suggests that between 2002 and 2020, the life expectancy of South Africans increased from 59.9 years to 64.6 years for men, and from 67.2 to 71.3 years for women. At the same time, the Pew Research centre says the number of people living to 100 years and older is expected to grow to nearly 3.7 million by 2050, from just 95,000 in 1990.

The challenge lies in funding this new-found longevity. South Africans are notoriously light on their retirement savings, and according to Sanlam’s benchmark survey report, one in five consumers say they will never be able to retire.

NMG figures show that the average replacement ratio for retirees declined from 35% in 2019 to 32% in 2021. This means the average member of a retirement fund can expect an income of 32% of their pre-retirement salary after they stop working.

Longer lives, longer planning

South Africans aren’t very good at saving or planning for their retirement at the best of times. Now, as we live for longer, we’re getting to a point where we should start planning as if we’re going to live to 100, and align our goals accordingly. This will have a major impact on the way we do financial planning. And those who don’t have enough retirement savings will keep working until they’re no longer able to.

Legally, there’s no mandatory retirement age in South Africa. However, a retirement age is often written into employment contracts, and employees need permission from their employers to keep working beyond that age.

There are clear benefits to employers of having older, more experienced employees in the workforce. They have valuable skills, knowledge, and experience which can be passed onto younger generations.

Studies suggest people who work longer retain higher levels of energy and mental alertness, reduce their chances of cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and retain a continued sense of purpose and belonging. However, for most ‘unretirees’, the biggest advantage of staying in the workforce is the ability to generate additional income and having more years to save towards retirement.”

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A new podcast series: Red Wine & Blue Jeans

Founded, sponsored and hosted by Rob Jones from Shire Retirement Properties and Lynda Smith from Refirement Network, Red Wine & Blue Jeans, is a 6-part series of podcasts that explores how to live the second half of life in the best way possible. Listen to the stories of people who, like red wine and blue jeans, just get better as they age.

Episode 1

To listen to a short conversation between Rob and Lynda about why they wanted to do this series, click here.

Episode 2

Executive Director, Board member and volunteer: Karen Borochowitz from Dementia SA, discusses her journey with her mother who was diagnosed in the early 90’s with dementia at the age of 62. She passed away at 83 after living with dementia for 21 years, a time which had a profound impact on Karen’s life. To listen to the conversation with Karen, click here.

Episode 3

Arthur Case has had a variety of careers. Firstly he worked as a human resources executive. He became a CEO in the pharmaceutical industry and then worked as a consultant. He eventually moved into the retirement industry which he left at the age of 66. Arthur has reinvented himself as an entrepreneur and has more time now to pursue his hobbies, one of them is to explore the world on a motorbike. Listen to Arthur’s story over here.

Episode 4

Dr Jim Leatt had a prestigious career in academia. His fields of interests were religious studies, industrial relations and applied ethics. In 1985 he was Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice Principle at UCT and in the early 90’s was appointed Vice Chancellor at the University of Natal. In 2008 he was asked to help turn around the University of Venda. In 2021 he published his book: ‘Conjectures – Living With Questions’, which is a written legacy to his lifelong exploration of the meaning of life. Click here to listen to Jim.

Episode 5

Jennifer Webster was diagnosed with Stargardts disease at the age of 10, a juvenile onset form of Macular Degeneration. She managed to complete mainstream schooling and has a BA Honours from Rhodes University. Married with grown up children she now spends her time helping to find solutions and encouraging others along the journey of vision loss.

Listen to Jennifer over here.

Episode 6

Simone Le Hane has come a long way from growing up under apartheid. She attributes her strength and determination to get on in life, to the older women in her family who were wise and feisty roll models. Simone studied at UCT which was the start of her lifelong learning. Her first job was at Shell and she was eventually recruited by the Department of Finance under the new democratic government and in 2000 was instrumental in the creation of the modern national treasury. She has had an illustrious career in the corporate and government sector. Now at 67, she is reinventing the next chapter of her life. Click here to listen to Simone.


These are the bad things about early retirement that no one talks about

These are the bad things about early retirement that no one talks about

Marketwatch’s Sam Dogen published the following article on Oct. 13, 2019: “These are the bad things about early retirement that no one talks about.

Welcome to your identity crisis…

For all the glamour of living an early retirement lifestyle, there are plenty of negatives I’ve come to discover since I permanently left my job in 2012. I know why we revert to our baseline state of happiness, no matter how much freedom and money you have. Let’s go through some of the negatives of retiring early now that I’m a grizzled veteran.

1) You will suffer an identity crisis for an unknown period.

When you’ve spent at least a decade working in a profession, you’ll find it incredibly jolting to no longer be identified as the person who is a marketing expert, an investment professional, or the management consultant who can figure out how to optimize a business. It’s only after you leave your job do you truly realize how wound up you were in your profession.

Your identity crisis may last as short as three months or it might last for years. It all depends on how wrapped up you were in your job, how long you spent getting educated after high school, and whether you have a clear plan post-retirement. Doctors are some of the people who suffer the most after leaving their occupations. Conversely, high school graduates who somehow struck it rich with a product or an invention seem to adjust much easier in post-retirement life.

Job titles can be incredibly addictive. Why else do people get so depressed when passed over for promotion? Why else do people try so hard to get promoted sooner and faster than everybody else? Do not underestimate the importance of being a manager, director, vice president, or even a C-level executive.

After all, the most common question people ask when they first meet each other is: What do you do for a living? And if you tell them you don’t do anything for a living, well then, you might just feel like a sheepish loser. You’ll want to try to explain yourself, but by then, your three-second first impression will no longer hold the other person’s attention.

What happened to me: After working in the Asian equities business for 13 years, it felt hollow to no longer have my Executive Director title or be identified with my investment firm. I felt sad that I could no longer go to Asia for conferences or with clients. For so long, taking a business-class trip to Hong Kong, India, China or Taiwan was part of my quarterly routine. Shallow as it may sound, it felt special to have priority boarding. I felt important when clients would entrust me to show them around in a foreign land.

For the first year after leaving my job, I wondered how the business was doing without me. Could they really survive without my expertise? After all, I was there for 11 years. Surely, they needed my relationships. But after months went by with no email or phone call from my old firm saying they wanted me back, I had to come to terms that I was no longer important to them.

I wanted to believe that my position meant something to the firm and to the people that I serviced. But at the end of the day, the person I trained to replace me as part of my severance agreement, was good enough. And because he was good enough, I concluded that I was no longer any good.

What Biden’s First 100 Days Mean For You and Your Money

2) You will be stuck in your head.

When you suddenly have an extra 10 to 14 hours a day of free time, it’s very difficult to optimize your time wisely.

Your productivity will suffer in retirement. You will no longer feel motivated to achieve great wins. As a result, you may slowly start to get depressed. Only after some really deep soul-searching and some, “what am I doing with my life?” questioning will you begin to organize your time better and become more productive.

Your mind can be very dangerous because it can always second-guess your actions. Did I retire too soon? What if I run out of money? What if people think I’m a loser? What if I can’t ever get back into the workforce if things go wrong? When you have a lot of time to think, your doubts go on and on.

Perhaps one analogy is to compare being stuck in your head with Locked-in syndrome. LIS is a condition in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for vertical eye movements and blinking. This could be one of my worst nightmares. Retiring early may render you inoperable for a while.

What happened to me: Because I left work at age 34, I was worried for about the first two years whether or not I had made the right choice. No rational person leaves a well-paying job to be unemployed in their mid-30s. Your late-30s is when you start to finally make good money. And by the time you reach your 40s, you should be at your maximum earnings power.

During my first year of early retirement, to the outside world I proudly proclaimed I was retired from a career in finance. But on the inside, I was second-guessing my decision to leave. Because of my uncertainty, I decided to do some part-time consulting with a financial technology startup for about 20 hours a week. It was a great way to distract my mind from all my fears, earn some side income, and re-plug myself into society. I also kept in touch with multiple banks until my Series 7 and 63 licenses expired.

Finally, I dived deep into my writing on Financial Samurai. Writing has always been my most cathartic way to deal with any uncertainty or problems I might have. For example, now that I have a son, I’ve been worried about whether our roughly $200,000 a year in passive income is enough to support a family of three if he doesn’t win the San Francisco public school lottery system. It’s taken almost 20 years for me to generate this passive income level, and it still doesn’t seem like enough.

Given this worry, I did a deep dive budget analysis for a family earning $300,000 a year, and it sure seems like we need to earn $100,000 more to maintain our quality of life in San Francisco. Alternatively, we can always move to a lower cost area of the country or world.

3) People will treat you like a weird misfit.

Whether it’s because retiring early is unconventional or because people are secretly jealous you aren’t grinding away at a day job, people won’t give you the same amount of respect as working-class citizens. After all, if they can’t describe what you do for a living, then they can’t pigeonhole you into an archetype that is comfortable for them.

Having a job means you are a productive member of society. If you retire at a young age, people will assume you are simply slacking off and not paying any taxes. They’ll sometimes look at you as a leech they want to flick off.

Further, if you are an outcast, then you won’t be invited to parties or events that other working people always get to attend. You’re simply not top of mind to them. If you are an extrovert, early retirement will be much more difficult than if you are an introvert.

What happened to me: After the first year of early retirement, I no longer told anybody I retired early. Instead, I told anybody who asked that I was a writer, a tennis teacher, a fintech consultant, or simply in between jobs. Before that, I think a lot of people just assumed I was a trust fund baby who did not have to work. And the last thing this middle-class guy who went to public school wants to be known as is a trust fund baby.

My favorite time of the year was during the winter holidays. I loved going to all the holiday parties and getting tipsy with fellow revelers. Now, I get invited to zero holiday parties because I don’t work for anyone. Nor do I get invited to client holiday parties either, even though I have several partners who are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It may sound silly, but having a drink with good people with shared interests really means a lot to me.

It takes a lot of effort to build new social networks if you aren’t part of a larger organization. There is no weekend cookout a colleague is hosting on Labor Day Weekend to attend. I’ve had to participate in various meetup events to find new people to hang out with. So far, my social network only revolves around tennis and softball. But even then, it’s not like I’ve found buddies who will come over and just chill in the hot tub over a beer or anything.

4) You’ll be disappointed that you aren’t much happier.

So many people think that once they achieve financial freedom or leave a job they dislike, they’ll suddenly be permanently happier. The truth of the matter is, your elevated happiness will only last at most three to six months. Eventually, you’ll revert to your natural state of being.

Think back to your high school or college days when you didn’t have any money compared with now. I’d venture to guess you were just as happy, if not happier when you were a broke college student.

Having the freedom to do what you want is priceless. But you will eventually take your freedom for granted like the air you breathe. On the days you feel angry or sad, you will start questioning what the hell is wrong with you since you’ve got more than the average person. You’ll feel stupid for feeling unhappy when there are literally hundreds of millions of people in the world wondering whether they’ll have enough to eat the next day.

You think, if I can’t be happy when I’m financially independent, surely there must be something seriously wrong with me. And you could be right! Can you imagine being unhappy as a Norwegian? Norway is perpetually ranked as one of the top five happiest countries in the world.

What’s going on with me: I thought I’d be much happier not having to report to a micromanager boss I did not respect. But my increased happiness was fleeting and only lasted for about a week before I was back to my regular self. Instead, my happiness was weighed down by months of uncertainty on whether I had made the right move to leave my job. It was only after about two years did my doubt finally start to dissipate.

Although corporate politics no longer upset me, other things end up filling the void. For example, drivers who decide to double park on a busy street in rush hour traffic really bother me now. So do dog owners who let their dogs poop in front of my house and don’t pick up after them. In the past, I could only allocate a small amount of annoyance to such incidences.

Instead of being permanently at a happier level, I’m simply no longer as annoyed or as angry at things as frequently. Further, the volatility around my steady state of happiness is lower. In other words, I’ve mellowed out. That said, don’t offend me because I still enjoy a really good fight.

5) You constantly wonder whether this is all there is to life.

Retiring early is like finishing up your favorite longstanding TV show. You’re glad there’s a conclusion, but you’re also sad that it’s over. You hope to find a show that’s as good or better, but there are no guarantees.

Most of us spend 13 years going to grade school so we can spend four years in college to get a decent job. Then we spend decades trying to earn and save money to provide for our family and then one day retire by 65. With good luck, we’ll live for another 20 years to enjoy all the fruits of our labor.

When you retire at a much earlier age, you are constantly left wondering what’s next. You are mentally twiddling your thumbs waiting for the next big thing while your close friends are all at work. Early retirement can get extremely mundane and boring because you have nobody to spend time with.

As a result, you’re repeatedly forced to will yourself into action. This constant self-starting attitude can become extremely trying to the point where you long to rejoin the workforce and be told what to do.

What’s going on with me: I probably drove my wife nuts during the first two years of early retirement because I constantly told her I was bored. Only boring people get bored right? Wrong. Everybody gets bored at some point. When you’re working, you don’t have time to get bored because you’re working. There’s only so much tennis, golf, and softball I can play before my knees break apart. There are only so many churches to visit in Europe before they all start looking the same.

She used to have vacations from me because I would be away traveling for work every month. Now she was seeing my cherubic face every single day. It’s a good thing we had three bedrooms at the time. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure we’d both have gone crazy from seeing each other so often.

It was only after our son was born in early 2017 that I felt a renewed sense of purpose. Before my boy, I felt my purpose was to help educate as many readers as possible about personal finance to one day be free. After my boy was born, my purpose has expanded to keeping Financial Samurai running long enough to teach him about operating an online business out of fear he may have a tough time getting ahead. In addition, I now need to live long enough until he finds someone who loves him as much as I love my wife.”

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Shire Retirement Properties (Pty) Ltd offers interactive workshops on considerations when buying your retirement home. To contact us, click here.

Afraid to retire, even though you can afford to?

Afraid to retire, even though you can afford to?

Kara Duckworth, CFP®, CDFA® wrote on March 26, 2021 for Kiplinger:

Help! I’m Afraid to Retire, Even Though I Can Afford to

“Actually retiring may be the hardest part about retirement. It’s not unusual to get cold feet. But you don’t want to work forever either, so what do you do? Here are some coping tips to get you over the hump.

I am seeing an interesting pattern in discussions with my clients about retirement — and it’s certainly not one I was expecting. Instead of worrying about whether they’ll have enough saved to enjoy retirement, they’re worrying about whether they’ll enjoy retirement at all.

It seems like discussions about retirement start almost as soon as we get our first job. Whether it’s saving as much as possible in your 401(k) plan or making an annual IRA contribution, the focus is always on having enough money to retire and enjoy all the things they’ve been dreaming of doing. For some, the big plans include traveling to far-flung destinations; for others, it’s spending time with family, finally moving to that place you love to visit on vacation, or volunteering.

To Be Happy Now, Live Like You’re Already Retired

As financial planners, we talk about these dreams as goals and put dollar amounts on them with anticipated timeframes around when you could expect to achieve them.

As we diligently make progress on achieving those retirement dreams, we don’t spend as much time as we should thinking about what life may actually look like in retirement. Just last week, I spoke to a client who says she would like to retire at the end of this year. We have been working toward her economic freedom for years, and she has enough assets to be able to make all the dreams she has expressed come to fruition. We got to the end of the financial plan discussion and I was all set to celebrate starting the countdown to the long-awaited retirement date.

But there was a pause, and then she said, “I don’t know if I can actually start to withdraw the money and feel good about it. I have been so focused on saving, investing and planning for years that I don’t know how I will feel about starting to take money out, even if it’s for things I think I want.”

She went on to say that she always thought she wanted to move to another state to be close to her extended family, but she now realizes that they are going to be busy with their own lives, and it won’t just be fun all the time like when she visits now. And if her family won’t be able to see her multiple times a week, then maybe she doesn’t actually want to live in that state and make a major lifestyle adjustment to weather she doesn’t enjoy year-round and not being able to walk on the beach every day.

She shared that she worries that the photography and golf hobbies that she feels like she never has time to enjoy now won’t be enough to fill her days. She has traveled extensively already, and the list of places she still wants to visit is getting shorter. In other words, her biggest worry about retiring is what she is going to do with her time when she retires — even though she says frequently, even now, that she can’t wait to stop working.

I have had similar conversations with physician clients who start our discussions by telling me that they are very stressed, and the only thing they want to do is close their practice as soon as financially possible. And yet, when we work through their wealth management plan and show that they have more than enough assets to walk out the door tomorrow, they can’t do it. For some people, retiring from being an expert in their field or having a prestigious job feels like giving up part of the identity they have worked very hard to earn.

So, what do you do when the hardest part about retirement is actually retiring? The most successful transitions to retirement I have helped clients implement start years before the planned retirement date or have elements that help ease them into decisions. Here are some ideas to make retirement the next step in a journey, not a final destination:

Consider slowing down at work instead of stopping completely. Working part-time allows you to have the best of both worlds: Continued income and a day-to-day sense of purpose, as well as the time to pursue hobbies, travel and leisure. The physician who wanted to walk away from his practice is now only working three days a week, happy to still be caring for patients while being able to participate in his teenager’s school and sports activities.

Try before you buy. If relocation is in your retirement plans, you can similarly take a new location for a test drive before committing to living there full-time. In the case of the client who might want to live by her family but really likes her current home, I recommended that she rent a house for a year in the new state to see if she can deal with the weather, and if her extended family’s lifestyle suits her before she sells her current home. She can rent out her current home for some income, or she can just come back home for a break during the very hot or cold months in the new state.

Plan to explore new things. While you may have a few hobbies that you enjoy now and want to pursue in retirement, you can also plan to try out new experiences to keep your day-to-day life fresh and interesting. Many people find that volunteering gives them the purpose that working used to fulfill — but without the stress. You can also explore those activities that you always thought sounded fun —  like learning to paint, ballroom dancing, playing pickleball, running triathlons or taking a series of cooking classes — but never had time to do before.”

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Shire Retirement Properties (Pty) Ltd (Shire) is based in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and specialises in the provision of a range of services focused exclusively on the retirement industry. Shire also offers interactive workshops on considerations when buying your retirement home. To contact us, click here.


If You Live to 100, You’ll Need More Than Money

John F. Wasik wrote on March 6, 2021 for the New York Times:

“If You Live to 100, You’ll Need More Than Money – The number of centenarians in the U.S. is growing steadily. If you join them, you’ll need not just a robust retirement fund but also a plan, and a purpose.

Dani Rizzo and Adam Hoyt are diligently saving for retirement. They’re putting away money each month and monitoring their investments. They’re looking ahead, as a couple, and trying to be socially responsible.

He’s 32, and she is 33, but they wonder: How many years of life could they be looking at, and saving for? Pondering the far-off future “seems daunting,” Mr. Hoyt said.

So with their financial planner, they ran an online longevity calculator. The prediction, based on their family histories, health and lifestyle, popped up: Mr. Hoyt could very well live to 92, Ms. Rizzo, to 94.

Mr. Hoyt, a senior account executive for the Washington Nationals, and Ms. Rizzo, digital director for the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., are looking far beyond the current dark pandemic moment — and toward, they hope, long lives.

Before the pandemic, Americans had an average life span of nearly 79 (76 for men and 81 for women), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But centenarians are a steadily growing demographic group — totaling an estimated 92,000 — giving rise to a relatively new approach to retirement preparation known as longevity planning, which combines conventional financial techniques with “life” planning.

While the couple are saving regularly in their individual retirement accounts, they are also envisioning “what we want our retirement to look like,” Ms. Rizzo said. “We have no plans for kids, but travel will be a big piece of what we do.” They also care about investing responsibly, investing in companies that promote racial and gender equity and divesting from fossil fuels.

They are working with James Brewer, a certified financial planner with Envision Wealth Planning in Chicago. While focusing on their savings goals, Mr. Brewer also helped them embrace life planning, which asks: Besides not outliving your money, how can you make your life meaningful in retirement, which could last three decades or more?

Mr. Brewer says longevity is something that can be planned for, and often yields pleasant surprises. “My mother is a Black woman from the Jim Crow South who is 92 and lives independently,” he said. “She never thought she would have lived this long. Fortunately, my dad had pensions.”

The growth in the 100-plus age group is partly a result of better medical care and a combination of improved lifestyle factors. This cohort has expanded 44 percent since 2000, according to a C.D.C. study. Eighty percent of centenarians are women. And in about 40 years, the number of people 100 and older will be six times as high as it is now, according to the Census Bureau.

What enhances longevity? College degrees and continuing education are correlated with it, a Yale and University of Alabama-Birmingham study found. Having a degree doesn’t guarantee you a longer life, but one’s longevity may be augmented by factors such as enlightened self-care, better medical attention and activity later in life.

Genetics also play a significant role. The landmark New England Centenarian Study, begun in 1995, identified genetic markers associated with those living past 100. The researchers, led by Dr. Thomas Perls, a professor of medicine and geriatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, found that these markers over all were 61 percent accurate in predicting who hits 100.

“The genetic component is a factor in 40 percent to 50 percent of people who make it to 100,” Dr. Perls said, “and 70 percent for those reaching 106, but it’s like winning the lottery. Only one in 5,000 Americans make it to the century mark.” And longevity isn’t distributed equally: A Princeton University study in 2012 found that socioeconomic differences can account for 80 percent of the life-expectancy divide between Black and white men, and for 70 percent of the imbalance between Black and white women.

An enlightened attitude and deliberate mental, social and physical activity during retirement also matter. That means continuing to learn new things, staying involved in the community and working to some degree.

Activity is critically important, said Mitch Anthony, a consultant in Rochester, Minn., and author of “Life Centered Financial Planning.” Mr. Anthony, who trains financial planners in life planning, has found that people who embrace what he calls a “new retirementality” do best when they remain socially and mentally vibrant.

In developing a core life-planning philosophy, he said, you will have to ponder answers to three questions: “What do you want out of life, what gives you joy, and how do you pay for it?”

Purpose and meaning throughout life are important, many researchers agree, although it’s hard to pin down on how they improve longevity. One study, published in 2013, suggests that these factors may offer a mental and possibly physical breakwater for life’s many travails.

“Having purpose in life may motivate reframing stressful situations to deal with them more productively, thereby facilitating recovery from stress and trauma,” the researchers found.

When estimating how long one could live and need money, it helps to run some possible outcomes. Most advisers who offer comprehensive financial planning do this, because it’s critical to see how long your money will last given a host of factors. You’ll also need to review some long-term estate planning, Mr. Brewer said.

“A lot can happen over 10 decades, especially over the last three,” he said. “It’s important to review your wealth-transfer and personal wishes annually. While you may still be alive, many of your friends or desired beneficiaries may no longer be alive.”

Mr. Brewer recommends reviewing those beneficiary designations and choosing contingent beneficiaries as well for life insurance, individual retirement accounts, and 401(k) and 403(b) plans. It might also be important to consider the tax benefits of bequeathing assets to a charity you love rather than to a living beneficiary, he added.”

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Reasons to start a business in retirement

Reasons to start a business in retirement

ENTREPRENEUR LEADERSHIP NETWORK  writer – Connie Inukai, wrote the following on January 22, 2021:

“If sitting around just isn’t your thing, then retirement is the perfect time to live out the dreams you may have put on hold. Simply filling empty hours with pointless recreation may feel like the opposite of freedom for many of the 72 million U.S. baby boomers, who have worked their entire lives. Launching your own business may be your ideal “retirement lifestyle.”

Six reasons to start a business in retirement

Stay active

Studies have indicated that the average retiree will experience a significant health issue within six years of retirement, commonly including heart disease, stroke, arthritis and depression. Staying motivated, active and connected is the best way to combat health declines due to aging. Being active includes exercising daily. Exercise may seem like a daunting task, but it’s easier to be active than one might think. A great way to stay active is to start a business, which involves packing materials, going to the post office and attending networking events. All of this gets your blood pumping.

Keep mentally alert 

The brain needs regular exercise, too. One way to improve your quality of life is by keeping your brain active through continuous learning. The day you stop learning is the day you start becoming old, no matter your biological age. Staying mentally active can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Learning how to run a business and planning marketing campaigns will keep your brain active.

Pursue a passion

You don’t stop dreaming at 50. Find that niche that you are really passionate about. Research has shown that having a purpose in life can lead to a longer life. If the main goal is not to make money, then dig into your interests and hobbies and focus on something that brings you joy. If you enjoy woodworking or needlecraft, consider selling your handmade items online (e.g., Etsy) or at local fairs. When you have time on your hands, there are few barriers to turning your hobby into a business.

Supplement your pension or income

You may be relying on reduced income after you retire. A small business could provide support for staying on top of bills, paying down debt or tucking away for a rainy day. You might want to rethink your former career. For example, I used to be a college writing professor. I now use those skills to guide people in writing their life stories.

Stay social

Maintaining strong social ties is essential for aging adults to feel a sense of purpose and avoid feelings of loneliness or depression. Nearly one-half of all older Americans report feeling lonely sometimes or always. Leaving a job may mean giving up most of your daily social interaction. By starting a business, you can replenish some of that interaction — with customers, suppliers, postal carriers and other professionals. There are also plenty of online communities for small-business owners where you can get advice and meet people with similar interests.

Give back to the community

  • Volunteer at a school: Public schools, in particular, are chronically underfunded and in need of volunteers for a wide array of tasks: tutor, crossing guard and mentor. There are always kids and teachers who need some help.
  • Work at a hospital: Volunteers receive thorough training for the particular positions and annual refresher courses are common, the American Hospital Association says. Some typical volunteer roles include visiting patients, working at the gift shop and assisting in blood drives.
  • Get involved in politics: Volunteer for a political crusade, grassroots organization or political action committee. You can also work for a candidate you support.
  • Help on a hotline: Suicide hotlines exist in almost every city, manned by volunteers. This is obviously an important — even life-saving — way to help. Help lines are also available for people who just need to hear another voice.
  • Contact animal shelters and humane societies: Local animal shelters and humane societies need volunteers to care for animals, organize fundraising events, perform administrative tasks, and help rescue pets in the wake of natural disasters such as floods and fires.

The best retirement business ideas start with what you know. If the goal is not necessarily to make money, dig into your interests and hobbies, and choose something that brings you pleasure. If you are looking for something new, here are some ideas.

  • Services. Babysitting, pet sitting, guiding tours and interior decorating are activities that can keep you physically active and social while focusing on your community and picking your own hours.
  • Handcrafted goods. What are you already doing in your spare time? Things to make and sell might include soap, candles, jewelry and pottery.
  • Courses. You have a wealth of life and work experience! How can you monetize what you know?  Teaching online courses may require more work upfront, but it offers excellent margins and takes minimal effort in the long run. In addition, you can work from home.

Take control of your life

It just doesn’t make sense to throw away all your knowledge and experience just because of a particular date on the calendar. With life spans increasing, you could easily change your career when you’re 50 or 60 or embark on an exciting entrepreneurial venture for the next 20 to 30 years. So why be stuck in a dull retirement when you can take control of your life and do something interesting, rewarding and fulfilling while contributing to society at the same time?”

To continue reading the rest of the article, click on this link.

Shire offers interactive workshops on considerations when buying your retirement home. To contact us, click here.



Practice makes perfect when it comes to retirement

Practice makes perfect when it comes to retirement

Rightwealth Advisors recently wrote “Retiree in Training: Practice makes perfect when it comes to retirement”

“Are you ready to retire? Are you sure? Think about it before you say, “Yes!

Most of us really look forward to the idea of well-deserved, unstructured free time. A time to do exactly what we please when we please – travel, spend time with family, pursue hobbies, volunteer. Until we get there. The 2018 Global Retirement Reality Report found that only 53% of Americans said they were happy in retirement. Some retirees underestimate how long it takes to adjust to what may be a radically different lifestyle; others miss their friends from work; still others find themselves with too much free time on their hands between grand adventures and visits with the grandkids.

Like all major life events, transitioning to a retirement lifestyle can be a major adjustment and comes with a few hiccups along the way. One day, you may go from your seat at the top as a powerful executive to a lounge chair in your living room with the TV or Fido for company. The point is, without your career to define you, what will?

Finding the answer takes a lot of preparation – emotionally, physically and financially – and a lot of thought. While the financial component is critical to a sustainable retirement, so is your quality of life. Too few people consider the psychological factors, which include letting go of your career identity, shifting social networks and spending more unscheduled time with your spouse, as well as the need to find new and engaging ways to stay active.

It’s crucial that would-be retirees invest in their social, physical and psychological needs as well as their financial ones. And that takes planning. Here’s what we mean.

All or Nothing?

It turns out you don’t have to go all-in on retirement. You can transition into it, while still working. In the years before you plan to retire: Practice. Try out different aspects of your proposed retirement and see if they are as fulfilling as you imagined. If traveling is on your agenda, start with extended trips to areas of interest. Pickleball more your cup of tea? Practice now to ensure it’s as fulfilling as you hope. Doing so, while you still have a job, can help with your eventual satisfaction in retirement. You may find you prefer a sort of hybrid retirement that perfectly blends work and leisure into the ideal mix for you.

You’re looking for fulfilling activities that also fill up your time in meaningful ways. Having an emotional connection, a purpose, to your activities helps motivate you and creates a sense of contentment. So it’s important to really give some thought to what makes you happy. Allow yourself the luxury of introspection and give yourself permission to enjoy your 60s, 70s and beyond using the money you’ve saved specifically for this purpose.

Once you have a good idea of what makes life more meaningful for you, take the time to experiment, explore and reflect on both your leisure and work options (e.g., part-time, consulting, moving to a new industry) to find the right balance of time, money, work and play that will become your retirement lifestyle. This work-and-play approach works best for those near traditional retirement age who are willing and able to work longer in exchange for getting a good read on their retirement readiness.

Consider the Work Perks

There are several benefits of continuing to work, in any capacity, while you try on retirement for size. The additional income can help you:

  • Avoid drawing down your retirement savings, allowing time for potential future growth.
  • Start enjoying the retirement lifestyle that will be most fulfilling for you.
  • Pay down unnecessary debt or splurge on a large purchase.
  • Stretch your retirement savings. Even a part-time salary will reduce the amount you’ll need to withdraw. For example, making $10,000 a year is enough to replace a 4% annual withdrawal from a $250,000 portfolio.
  • Delay taking Social Security, until age 70. Each year you wait adds 8% to your monthly benefits.
  • Reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs since you’ll still be covered under employer-subsidized insurance.

To get into the right mindset, first figure out if you really want to retire and what that may look like. Imagine how you’ll spend your days as well as what a typical day would look like. Ask yourself:

What current activities do I want to continue in retirement?

  • What new things do I want to learn or do?
  • Who would I like to see more of and how often?
  • Where would I like to travel?
  • What role does work play in my life?
  • What brings me joy?

A Change of Pace

Of course, everyone’s vision for retirement will be different, and any decisions about this important phase of life should be based on your financial situation and comfort level. If continuing to work while dipping your toe into the retirement waters appeals to you, run the idea past your financial advisor to determine if the idea is feasible. He or she can help you determine if a more gradual approach could help you adjust emotionally and financially, so you can achieve the ultimate reward: a happy, fulfilling new life.”

If you ever wondered what to do with your time once you retire, click here.

The key to retirement well-being, is to develop a diversified “life portfolio”

The key to retirement well-being, is to develop a diversified “life portfolio”

Steve Vernon wrote “Secrets Of A Successful Retiree: From A Retirement Professional” for Forbes online. He writes:

“What are the retirement planning strategies that an internationally recognised retirement expert successfully has used to plan her own retirement? There’s plenty you can learn from Anna Rappaport, a researcher, consultant, author, and speaker on a variety of retirement planning topics.

Rappaport is also a past-president of the Society of Actuaries and the current chair of its Aging and Retirement Research Initiative Steering Committee. In that role, she puts a special focus on women’s retirement security, which differs in some key ways from retirement security in general.

Recently, Rappaport shared her personal perspectives on and experience with retirement in a guest post written for Nerd’s Eye View, the influential blog from Michael Kitces for financial advisors. Her post, titled “Reboot, Rewire or Retire? Personal Experiences With Phased Retirement and Managing A Life Portfolio,” focuses on the non-financial aspects of retirement. She believes these goals are just as important as creating financial security in retirement.

Rappaport believes that the key to retirement well-being, is to develop a diversified “life portfolio” consisting of:

  • Health
  • People (family, friends, professional contacts)
  • Pursuits (work, volunteering, hobbies, community activities, travel)

Much of current retirement literature and advertising focuses on the “vacation” aspects of retirement, with dreamy pictures of couples walking on the beach at sunset, hand in hand, or holding rum drinks with miniature umbrellas. But Rappaport appropriately points out that a vacation is a break from what we normally do. “People who retire with the idea of an endless vacation are likely to be disappointed or bored within a year or two, if not sooner,” she says.

Rappaport’s post details the various ways that people can continue working, earning, and remaining engaged in their retirement years. She provides interesting insights for people who’ve held senior positions or visible roles during their careers. She advocates making a conscious choice between being known as “me, today” vs. “me, former vice president/director/partner/important title.” She has chosen to be known as “me, today” but describes her extensive former roles in her bio.

Rappaport also advocates planning with the rest of your life in mind. Too often, people approaching their retirement years plan for the “go-go” period of retirement and overlook the inevitable “slow-go” and “no-go” periods of their lives. Sooner or later, spouses, family, and friends will need support and care, and it’s important to be there when they need help. And eventually, you might need help, too, from the social network that you’ve carefully nurtured.

The last lines of Rappaport’s post are compelling: “Some things require a lot of vitality. Do them now while you can. You never know when limitations are coming.”

Some people use these type of thoughts to justify spending lots of money on that cruise to Tahiti they’ve always wanted to take. While that might be fun, don’t blow your savings and end up jeopardizing your financial security in your remaining years.

Better yet, consider Rappaport’s final advice as motivation to work on any unfinished business in your life. This might range from reconnecting with family and friends you haven’t seen in a while to taking up a cause or interest that you’re passionate about or even working on your “bucket list.” It can be one way to lead a fulfilling life without spending a lot of money.

Rappaport’s wisdom can help older workers and retirees better prepare for an enjoyable and fulfilling retirement. While this post just skimmed some key and unique highlights of her post, it contains many more insights and details, and would be a great read for anyone approaching their retirement years.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

If you ever wondered what to do with your time when you retire, click on this link.

Shire Retirement Properties (Pty) Ltd, is dedicated to the development of a mature retirement industry for South Africa, with broad sharing of knowledge, best practices, improved transparency and standards – all in the best interests of those who wish to retire with peace of mind.

What to do with your time when you retire

What to do with your time when you retire

Some choose retirement, and some have retirement thrust upon them. When it comes to figuring what to do with the decades of free time facing modern retirees, why not take an inventory of what you find most important, whether it be leisure, socializing, contributing to a community or cause, or pursuing hobbies. Work also may be the most important thing, either for the income or for the sense of identity. Research shows that more than half of people over 60 say they will work after retirement.

Here are some ideas for retirees deciding what to do with their days.

Work as a Consultant

People with skills and knowledge to sell to individuals or companies can become consultants, a job with plenty of flexibility for free time. Consulting requires the ability to market and sell those skills, and it can take a while to build up a clientele.

‘Boomerang’ to Part-Time Work

Some companies are finding that, by hiring back retirees part-time or as needed, they get the expertise of long-time workers, while the former full-timers get to keep up professional skills and develop new ones. It’s best to plan this — sometimes called “boomeranging” — before retirement, but it’s never too late to look.

Start a Mastermind Group

For some, retirement from a day-to-day job just opens up time to try another business. Senior entrepreneurs don’t need to go it alone. Look through your address book, find other smart retirees, and form a mastermind group that meets regularly to share connections, advice, and experience. It’s like having an instant board of directors, while joining a bunch of other boards.

Work at a Non-profit

Many retirees seek to turn work experience into a second career at a non-profit. Organisations tap into people’s desire to find meaningful work that gives back to the community. They partner with groups all over the country, serving as a placement network for “second acts.”

Work in a School

Public and private schools have opportunities even for people without teaching degrees. Teacher’s assistants, tutors, and crossing guards are all needed at schools and don’t require experience as an educator.

Become a Tour Guide

People with outgoing personalities can become tour guides. It’s not necessarily easy. Becoming a licensed guide means passing a background check as well as a rigorous test of arcane knowledge specific to the relevant industry. Although no one will become rich as a guide, some people can have a pretty good time and make money passing on their excitement about where they live.

Work at a Hobby

Work isn’t work if you love to do it, which some retirees discover by turning a lifelong passion into a paying proposition (easier when it’s not the sole source of income). A retiree loved restoring antiques in his garage as a hobby, and now he has a partner who helps him turn old barn doors into shelving and coffee tables for sale. A love of gardening could lead to a job in a plant nursery; a love for animals could translate into a reception job at a vet’s office.

Travel in a caravan

Freewheeling seniors can take advantage of a loose schedule by touring the country in a caravan. Whether to buy or rent depends on whether this is going to become a lifestyle or just a one-time caravanning holiday. Having a built-in kitchen and bed can save on meals and hotels during long-term travels.

Visit National Parks

South African National Parks (Sanparks) offer discounts on normal tariffs to people 60 years and older provided the reservation is made in the name of the qualifying person. Social pensioners are those receiving old age, family and disability allowances as well as blind persons.

Take Advantage of SAARP Benefits

One of the greatest advantages of retirement is the ability to go traveling at the drop of a hat (or the sighting of a great deal), with no work or school schedules to get in the way. SAARP offers discounts to make your holidays much more affordable.

Go to Camp

Another way to get away from it all is to go to camp — a camp meant for seniors. Some concentrate on basic camp experiences, such as archery, boating, and campfires, while others focus on particular activities such as wine tasting, bird watching, or the arts. Some are adults-only, and some offer shared experiences with grandchildren. Adult camps aren’t necessarily in the summer, and some last for only a weekend, including some pricey fantasy camps that indulge the inner child and let grownups be cowboys or train for spaceflight.

Become a Road Scholar

Educational travel adventure tours that let grandparents bring grandchildren along, is also popular amongst the over 50’s. The tours encourage learning and interacting with people wherever members go, not just sightseeing. Some trips to remote locations involve hiking, canoeing, or a lot of walking and climbing, which are indicated so people with limited mobility can assess whether a trip will be appropriate.

Take Advantage of Rail Discounts

Luxury takes on a new dimension with The Blue Train or Rovos rail. You’ll feel it the moment you step into the pre-departure lounges in Pretoria or Cape Town. A warm-hearted South African welcome – taking guests through some of the most breath-taking countryside to be found anywhere in the world.

Teach ESL Abroad

One way to experience another country without having to shell out for so many travel expenses: Get certified to teach English as a second language. Demand for ESL teachers is high.

Teach ESL at Home

There are also plenty of people in this country who need to learn English as a second language. Tutors work with them one-to-one on reading, writing, speaking, and sometimes on just getting by in a new setting. Tutoring requires very little training, although teaching a class requires TEFL certification. Finding volunteer positions is easy, starting with classes, conversation groups, or tutoring at municipal libraries.

Find Volunteering Opportunities at Home

For retirees, a volunteer position can mean supporting a favourite cause, helping people in need, or giving back to the broader community while building new skills, widening social circles, staying engaged, and broadening your point of view. Find a position through volunteer databases such

Build with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has one- or two-week stints in locations all over the world to build housing, upgrade existing homes, help with disaster recovery, or bring stability to children in need.

Join the Peace Corps

The Peace Corps is an excellent way to get immersed in another culture while doing good — and it’s not just for young people. The organisation is making a play to recruit more mature volunteers, who bring lifetimes of expertise and experience. The Peace Corps often requires a two-year commitment and proficiency in another language.

Get Back to Playing Music

Retirement can bring to the fore things you may have puttered around with for years but never had time to really concentrate on. Tony Smith used to play guitar in a band when he was young but let the skill slip as he made a living as a middle school music teacher. Now that he has retired, he’s back on the bar circuit, playing gigs all over Cape Town, including every open mic night he can get to.

Take Up Writing

Even people side-lined by disability or illness can write. If the act of putting pen to paper or fingers to keys is difficult, phones, tablets, and computers have software to turn speech into text. Writing the memoirs of a remarkable (or even ordinary) life can be cathartic for the writer and eye-opening to those who read it. People who have never written before might find it difficult to start such a project, but there’s plenty of help out there from sites such as SA Writer’s College.

Rediscover Art

Revive a love of art by taking up drawing or painting. This doesn’t require a lot of supplies to start — for drawing, just a pad and a set of pencils or some charcoal will do. To begin, there are free lessons online on and other websites, but taking a class opens up a new social circle. Almost every community college has some sort of art classes, and often a senior tuition waiver is available to lower the cost of those classes.

Give Photography a Shot

Even a basic point-and-shoot camera is fine for newbie photographers. Photo and camera clubs can pick up from there, offering companionship, mentoring, and a venue for exhibiting work. Talk to people at local camera stores to find out where the nearest clubs can be found, or try

Turn Textiles into Art

Knitting, sewing, weaving, embroidery, and quilting used to be done in social circles or bees — and they are again. Knitting and fabric stores are often the sites of comradely needle artists, and libraries in some communities also offer classes and a place to share patterns, experiences, and skills. My Dream Course is but one of many websites to visit for classes and online courses

Get Fired Up About Ceramics

Wheel throwing takes a bit of strength and physical dexterity, but hand building can be practiced for a lifetime. Ceramics is not the kind of thing that can be accomplished at home, as it requires a kiln to fire pieces, so the art form lends itself to socializing. Classes can be found at most community colleges or art schools.

Make a Movie

Some people turn the simple home movie into a real production. If that sounds familiar, perhaps moviemaking would be a natural fit. Start by auditing a class at a community college or municipal cable access station with basic equipment, where you can discover which part of film you prefer — writing and directing, for instance, or the more technical aspects.

Sound Out Podcasting

The online, downloadable equivalents of radio shows are fairly simple to produce for people who are computer adept and capable of writing and recording a script on a consistent basis — weekly, for instance. The folks at Digital Trends explain how to make any type of podcast, whether it be personal thoughts, a scripted show such as a serial, or a way to highlight music.

Garden for the Planet

Every person with a garden looks forward to having more time to devote to the earth once they retire. Retirees can turn their plots into habitats for pollinators such as honeybees and butterflies, which are disappearing from the planet. This requires abandoning pesticides and growing certain plants to attract the creatures. Life is a Garden has information about how to do that and reap a garden full of butterflies.

Garden Like a Master

Take gardening expertise one more step and become a master gardener. Every province has master gardener training that accepts people who are passionate about growing and have some skills to offer – dedicated to promoting all horticulturally related businesses and events in South Africa.

Take Care of Animals

Pet sitters get to indulge the desire to be around animals, usually dogs or cats, which is especially helpful if the rules of their own home prohibit pets. Local pet-sitting companies often advertise for workers with signs in vets’ offices or stores that sell pet supplies, but retirees can go independent and put up their own signs advertising for clients. Pet lovers who enjoy being outdoors and are strong enough to handle several dogs at once can also be dog walkers.

Foster a Pet

Owning a pet seriously limits the time that can be spent away from home. If a lot of travel is part of the retirement plan, yet you love to have animals around, become a foster parent to a local shelter. Foster homes provide temporary care to rescue animals, those being treated for an injury, the very young, or those otherwise temporarily unfit for adoption into a permanent home.

Look Within

Many people become more attuned to the spiritual as they age, and some studies show that people with deeper spiritual connections have more positive relationships with others, and greater mental and physical health. Churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions welcome newcomers.

Stay Fit

There is little that will keep retirees younger than beginning the exercise regime they always meant to establish. One of the best exercises, requiring nothing more than a good pair of shoes, is walking — even people who have been sedentary all their lives know how to do it. Beginners can start with a regimen such as the one proposed by the Mayo Clinic. If bad weather is a deterrent, joining an inexpensive gym is an option.

Try Yoga or Pilates

Yoga is as an ideal form of exercise for older people. Because it is gentle and there are no jerky movements, it is unlikely to lead to injury. Pilates is a similar form of exercise that is meant to strengthen the core, and the Mayo Clinic says it promotes the flexibility that seniors might start to lose. Although both can be done at home with a video, it’s probably a good idea for beginners to take a class with an instructor who can help with proper form and alignment.

Strengthen Your Personal Bonds

During the work years, a lot of time that could be spent with family gets limited to vacations and stolen moments. Retirement gives people the opportunity to renew family ties and spend quality time with grandchildren, and meet friends for lunches that last as long as the conversation does. Rather than going out on weekends, groups of friends can visit during the week, when gathering places are less crowded.

Leave a Tasty Legacy

Of the many things that can be passed down to family members, the most memorable often have to do with food. A cookbook of family favourites is a good way to bring family members together with shared recipes and memories. Copy centres can bind these recipes together into keepsake books.

Climb the Family Tree

Making a family tree is a chance for each member to tell their stories. has tips on how to bring historical documents and family artifacts into the tree to make it more meaningful, and where to look for information that goes back further in time than any living member can recall.

Become a Lifelong Learner

The University of the 3rd Age, Cape Town (U3A C.T.) is the springboard from which all U3A activities in South Africa took off.  It was launched at the millennium, has grown by leaps and bounds, splitting itself and giving birth to offshoots along the way. The objective is to offer mental and physical stimulation and socialisation to senior citizens, through opportunities for life-long learning for learning’s sake, in the company of interested peers.

Or Learn Online

Open Education Database is a directory of thousands of free courses on every conceivable subject from providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and universities all over the world. Although some of these are audio or video lectures, some have full syllabuses with all the attendant reading and homework and the option to earn a certificate (sometimes for a fee), although not college credit.

Learn a New Language

Retirees can take the time to learn a new language, perhaps before traveling to a country where the language is spoken. ITunes U is a good resource for language learning, which can be done at the participant’s own pace. Among the classes available is an MIT OpenCourseWare video class called “Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full,” which combines language and cooking lessons. Languages available range from French and Spanish to Chinese, Arabic, and Russian.

To read more about matters for consideration when preparing to buy into a retirement village, click here.

Shire Retirement Properties (Pty) Ltd (Shire) is based in the Western Cape Province of South Africa and specialises in the provision of a range of services focused exclusively on the retirement industry.


Tips to help you retire when you want to

Tips to help you retire when you want to

Business Insider’s Liz Knueven writes about 8 pieces of advice to help you retire when you want, according to people who have done it, on the 5th February 2020.

To retire how you want, it’s crucial to plan ahead — at least that’s what these retirees from Business Insider’s Real Retirement series have found.

Retirement is more than just leaving work.

If you want to make sure that you’ll be able to retire when you want, retirees from Business Insider’s Real Retirement series have some tips from their own retirement experiences, from paying off your mortgage and other debts, to working with a financial planner.

Here are these retirees’ best pieces of advice for anyone who wants to leave work someday.

  1. Find a good financial planner and work on your equity allocation

When one of his friends tell him they’re thinking about retiring, Dirk Cotton’s first advice is to find an expert. “Find a good a retirement planner, because retirement planning is incredibly complex,” he said. “They’re extremely helpful and worth the investment, and it’s worth it to start talking to them in the years before you retire.”

He also suggests focusing on your investments. “The major thing that I would say is, 10 years before retirement, you probably want to end up somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% to 50% equity allocation,” Cotton, who retired at 52, said. He said this is one of the big things that helped him retire comfortably in 2005 and get through the Great Recession.

“I weathered that storm extremely well,” he said, crediting this advice. “A lot of people had 100% equities when they were saving for retirement, and lost over 50% in a very short period of time.”

  1. Make time for a yearly or quarterly retirement planning check-in

Bill Brown, who retired at 65, says one of the most helpful things he did was regularly set aside a few minutes to strategise. “I did this maybe once or twice a year,” he said. “You sit back and you mentally go through,

  • ‘How am I doing?
  • What could I change?
  • What should I change?’

And then, you alter it.”

Doing this helped him and his wife realize they could be doing more to cover themselves with life insurance and long-term care insurance. It helped them to focus on the bigger picture of retirement planning, and keep on track to retire on time.

  1. Start planning sooner rather than later

“I got a late start. From 33 to 43, those quarterly statements I got from a TIAA, I threw them away,” David Fisher, who retired at 65, told Business Insider.

“When I was in my early 40s, I opened one of my quarterly statements that I used to throw away. And I said, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve got $30,000 to $35,000 in there. That’s my money.’ Then I became interested in retirement,” Fisher said.

If he could turn back time, that’s the advice he’d give to his 35-year-old self. “Invest early and invest as early as you can and put away whatever you can afford,” he said.

  1. Start maxing out your retirement accounts and live within your means

Corky and Patti Ewing never made more than what is considered a middle class income in their California home. In 2019, they retired comfortably thanks to strategic saving and investment decisions. Corky told Business Insider he’d advise anyone wanting to retire to “max out their retirement accounts, their 401ks or their IRAs.”

To do this, he continued: “I’d tell someone to live within their means, because you don’t have to try to keep up with your neighbors.”

  1. Prioritize your spending on experiences rather than things

Karen and Joe Stermitz sold their home in Washington to travel the world and live frugally after they retired in 2017.

“I would tell people just to be frugal. Things don’t bring you happiness, experiences do,” Karen said. She and her husband started a journey through South America in an overlanding vehicle in 2019.

“I don’t buy things; we don’t buy a lot of things. Get away from the focus of the things, and focus on experiences and living life,” she said.

  1. Own a home you can afford

“Our home is key to our retirement,” said Bill Davidson, who retired at 54. He and his wife Rose moved from Oregon to New Mexico after he stopped working to travel, live affordably, and be mortgage-free.

They chose to build an environmentally-friendly home, which reduces utility expenses considerably. “If you reduce your utilities to almost nothing, that means you’re living in environmentally friendly, energy-efficient lifestyle,” he said.

“Our home costs about $300 per month,” he said. By owning a home they can easily afford and moving to live mortgage-free, the Davidsons are able to spend more on family and travel.

  1. Keep your credit score up and live debt-free

“I did get a little good advice early on from my godfather about having perfect credit scores and never using credit to finance lifestyle,” said Fernanda Dorsey, who is now traveling the world with her husband, Jim, after retiring at 52. “Those pieces of advice were jewels,” she added.

“We’ve been basically following those two things, so we don’t have any debt. When we left work to travel, we had perfect credit scores, and that’s good,” she said.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Shire Retirement Properties (Pty) Ltd, offers talks on generic topics of interest to those considering retirement. To have a look at our Company Overview brochure, click here.