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The best retirement advice - unlearn your expectations, and then relearn 

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As a professional in the field, I developed the best retirement advice in parallel with my personal involvement in the field of residential property investments.  

And what I eventually came to realise (with acknowledgements to David Flynn in Australia) that women and men have different starting points ... most couples still have women with smaller careers and generally continue along with similar pre-retirement tasks ... but men are split between achievers (during their careers) and those other workers with more mundane motivations in the workforce.

Achievers may have succeeded during their careers and then retire to lower demand tasks, however failed achievers are quite numerous and often try to recover their missed success when they retire.

Those non achievers - in their retirement - are probably split between pottering with hobbies or working for an income.

And then there is another combination for men to return to their first career (perhaps they were a scientist) and use those skills to work part time.

And after distilling all that I now know, here is (currently) my best retirement advice:

Retirement is not going to be like our parent's retirement, nor of those elderly neighbours we knew years ago.  And retirement definitely won't be what we see in those glossy brochures for 96% of us.  So unlearn your expectations, and relearn - with a focus on the years ahead.

Over the years, not only did I help my private clients provide for a secure financial future, but for many others - who for whatever reason were not able to invest - I was able to develop alternative strategies. 

However, through it all, there are five fundamental pillars to focus on if you are determined to achieve a comfortable retirement (that could well last 20-25 years).  

These five pillars are                                 

  • your health,
  • family and friends,
  •   your ideal retirement location
  • your finances 
  • your zest for living

Don't retire from life just yet - you've still got one third available

Family and friends

You'll always want to be near your family, as they are constants in your life, with decades of shared memories.

 Naturally, as your children progress in their own careers, so relocation by them from time to time is inevitable, but as long as you live near an airport the grandchildren will be able to visit relatively easily.  And if you live near theme parks - or anywhere else attractive to teenagers - so much the better.

Here are some suggestions how to maintain strong family units and friendship groups

  • Decide to be everyone's best friend
  • Get to know your neighbours and members of your local community
  • Develop a joint mantra - such as "Carpe Diem"  
  • Actively participate in their interests - physically and emotionally
  • Take a non-judgemental approach to their whims
  • Share your dreams, and constantly remind others in your group about their dreams

You could perhaps model your approach on the work of this British nonprofit charity nonprofit charity "Family Friends". 

Celebrate with family and friends

Best Retirement Advice - where to retire

Personally, my mantra "I didn't get up this morning to be ordinary" applies to my thoughts on the best places to retire.  I'm not drifting along, waiting to end up in God's waiting room.

When researching for the best place to retireNorth Carolina and Arizona both scored  highly on my spreadsheet, as did France if I were to retire overseas.

However, and in particular, I would urge you to consider a college town, as the environment will always keep you  young.  When the 80% of population is under 30, you can't but help being swept along with their enthusiasms.  

Here is a list of some American active retirement communities - these particularly are colleges towns - but of course any college town will keep you mentally stimulated well into old age, anywhere in the world.  Use the criteria you find in that article to help you refine your search.

Your finances

Most of us have very modest retirement savings, so we have to be prudent and make them last. Some reference articles that you may find useful are a 401b retirement plan and of course retirement plans for dummies. 

Alternatively, you could look for a job - but unfortunately the reality is that retiree employment is very rare.  It's a combination of the work cover insurance that the employer has to pay, as well as our deteriorating physical ability.  

Of course, why not work for yourself?   Ken Evoy - founder of Retire Sitesell - explains how simple it can be. Then you can never be retrenched and of course you'll be generating much needed income

"I'm never going to retire"

Your Health 

To be frank, there may not too much we can do in later life to improve our health.

Which is one reason why you shouldn't retire too far from a major hospital.

However the good news is that with our retirement age life expectancy, no matter what our past medical history has been, half of us will be living into our 90s.

So remember my best retirement advice:

Retirement is not going to be like our parent's retirement, nor of those elderly neighbours we knew years ago.  And retirement definitely won't be what we see in those glossy brochures for 96% of us.  So unlearn your expectations, and relearn - with a focus on the years ahead.

And of course, if you want to discuss issues with us in more detail and personally, feel free to contact our professional consultancy practice.  

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My book "Creative Retirement Planning" includes the best retirement strategies I have discovered in 30 years of assisting family, friends and private clients.  

Benefit from my experience to enhance your retirement whether by improving your finances, your health or your quality of life.  

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