What happens when you turn the light switch from career woman to retired lady? It doesn’t matter if you had a career, a job, or were a stay at home with your children, it is still a major shift in your life. As my mother says, “I was forced into early retirement when my children decided to be independent.” Sorry mom, never thought of it that way, but better us out in the world than still at home. Although I have an inkling she would secretly love that! No matter what you are retiring from, you will go from having a purpose every day to everyday being a Saturday. Although that sounds pretty nice, I’ve heard it can get old if you don’t know how to fill 365 Saturdays a year.
So what will be your reason to wake up every morning? It might take you a few weeks, months, or even years to get a grasp on what you want for your new, retired life. And everyone is different! Some women want nothing to do with ever working again while others want some part time work, maybe consulting here and there. A common theme I’ve found from interviewing tons of retired women is: to have options to try and to have a plan. It can be a much easier transition if you have an idea of what you want to be doing with all your days.
I will warn you, you might start out too ambitious and have to start cutting back. I can’t stress enough to give yourself some time. If you join a club or volunteer somewhere, you might get asked to be secretary, treasurer, or president. And it might be more work than you thought, and you might find yourself working more than at your paying job. You are forewarned! But please, don’t let that deter you from joining. You will meet so many wonderful people that you may never have met if you weren’t part of it. Volunteering or joining a club is a great way to meet people, especially if you are moving to a new place, so get involved and benefit from giving back.
Let’s switch to family and how much time you will give to helping your family. It can be babysitting your grandchildren or helping more with your parents. Your family might assume that you’ll now be able to help out more with parents or other family members, so it is important to be honest with them. Don’t let them automatically give you their share. Retirement is a time to put the focus back on your, for YOUR health, YOUR hobbies, and YOUR interests. You’ve been putting everyone before you for most of your life, so embrace this time to give back to yourself. Let’s face it, if you aren’t healthy, wealthy, and wise, your family isn’t either.
To make sure you are healthy, wealthy, and wise, let’s go through the top 5 retirement concerns from my Ladies Who Retire survey:
- Who will take care of me when I’m older.
- Family Love Letter, create a Family Love Letter to tell your family exactly what you want. They won’t know unless you tell them or leave them a letter. There is a link for one below to get you started.
- Outliving my money.
- Time to create a plan if this is a concern, and make updates the plan throughout the years (or every year if you work with us).
- Become more active with the family budget and bill paying so you have a good idea of what things cost. You’ll know how much income is coming in and how much money is going out.
- If you outlive your spouse, it is crucial to know where all the accounts are, the logins and passwords, and where all the important documents are kept. You will have more time on your hands now that you are retired, so get more involved before it is too late!
- Health care costs
- Talk with a specialist about Medicare supplement policies and Medigap policies.
- Budget the healthcare costs into your spending.
- Look into a Long Term Care (LTC) policy or LTC-life insurance combo, do it before your health starts to decline. 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some sort of long term care, and those odds are not in your favor. The cost of care is very expensive, so why not do some planning. With long term care, by not spending money on some insurance and planning, will probable cost you a lot more money in the long run.
- Supporting my parents and or children.
- Have an open conversation with your family about what you are willing and able to do. If you need reinforcements, bring in a professional such as an advisor, therapist, or attorney. Let them know if what they are asking you to do is within means, both with your time and money.
- Being able to have the retirement I worked so hard for.
- What is your plan and strategy? If you worked thirty plus years for something, don’t you think you should do some planning for it? Don’t go into the next 30 years blindly! I can’t stress this enough, get a plan in place!
A great way to get started is to set up a family meeting so everyone knows your hopes and expectations. If you’d like to set up a meeting, email Jessica.Weaver@raymondjames.com or click the button below:
essica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Any opinions are those of Jess Weaver and not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.