Don’t Enjoy too Much too Soon
We tend to look at retirement as a time to ease up, with fewer responsibilities, which means less stress and demands on your time. This is what you look forward to in retirement, but too much freedom may lead into traps along the way.
There are all kinds of sources providing financial advice as you’ll find here on Designed Retirements, but we would like to share a couple of things you shouldn’t do AFTER you retire.
Retirees learn from their mistakes, and you’ll find they are best source of impending retirement dilemmas. Obviously, you don’t want to withdraw a big chunk of your savings to meet all your dreams within the first decade of retirement. Your home and other property are assets you won’t be able to reclaim, so you, as the seller, must beware.
Following are common-sense no-no’s we’ve learned along the way, with more to come:
Have a good time, but…
You finally get to do all those things you dreamed of doing in retirement. That doesn’t mean self-discipline is no longer a viable asset. Beware of living in the present, just doing what you want to do, because one day you might wake up and realize you needed something you had before you retired— structure. There is no better lesson on this than the biblical parable of the prodigal son. A forgiving father saved the day for his wanton and free-spending son, but your so-called Golden Years may not be as forgiving when you embark on unplanned spending and an unstructured lifestyle in early retirement. Find something you can do, whether a hobby, recreation or social activity, and build a new structure in your retirement years.
Selling your house is tempting, but…
You can literally live for years off your house, including utilizing reverse mortgages, various rental options and other sources of income through your most valuable asset. You have that big house, an empty nest with just the two of you if you have a spouse or life partner. It makes sense to sell for a great price, move into something smaller and cheaper, and take advantage of the big bucks invested in your home. If you need the cash and equity of your home, that’s one thing, but be patient otherwise. If you’ve paid off the mortgage or have a locked-in reasonable payment that fits your budget, you might want to consider the costs of moving, which can take a toll, not just financially, but as a stressor as well.
It’s an option you’ll always have in your back pocket. Use it when you really need it.
And that’s just the beginning. We’ll share more of what not to do in you first decade of retirement in a subsequent blog.