Sometimes we become passive spectators, watching our lives unfold a day at a time.
We may plan our careers or even a vacation, but it doesn't occur to some of us to plan our future lives as a couple, single person or expat.
At what age will you retire, and from that day forward, what's your plan? If you cannot answer these questions, you are not alone.
Research indicates increasingly that only a small percentage of people globally have a clear retirement path that motivates and inspires them toward what should be this next exciting chapter of their lives. It could be a chance to begin again in a direction that reflects who you have become and the talents and interests you have gained throughout the years.
Several years prior to retirement, two crucial aspects should already be considered: Financial Planning and Life Planning.
Financial Planning should be set in place in relation to investments and portfolios. One could ask when is the best time to start Financial Planning and the technically correct answer would be the first day that you work for a salary.
Life Planning, on the other hand, establishes the blueprints for the best lifestyle at retirement. Sounds simple, however many of us find barriers for not having taken charge of our future. Does this sound familiar?
- I will leave planning for when I retire.
- Retirement is not something I feel comfortable or prepared to think about. I am not ready to acknowledge that one day I will retire.
- I haven't thought to do a life planning exercise, to identify and set a plan to achieve the future I want. I still have time.
- I might have started thinking about it, but I don't have the discipline to follow through.
Our Life Planning does depend on where we see ourselves in the future. However, the challenge found with expats is unique.
Expat life undoubtedly is exciting, offering us new life experiences, new friends and new memories. When living away from our home country and the discussions on where to retire occur, we sometimes hear that people feel "stuck in limbo, neither here nor there", the question asked is "where is home, where to from here?"
Needless to say, we need to work with our financial planner to ensure that our benefits from any policies or retirement portfolios can be received in our country of retirement.
From a life planning aspect, we need to think and plan where we see ourselves settling (many choose to spend their time in 2 countries). Going home is sometimes the first choice, but many feel when returning home, hard to settle and relate to friends who have not travelled outside their home country.
Friends and family have moved on in their lives and sometimes it is difficult to carry on as it once was. When we do our next home visits, it is best to try and see the country, its politics and economic situation as a resident and not a visitor.
Retiring in a new country feeds the adventurous and transient lifestyles we acquire as an expat, but we absolutely need to do our homework and fully plan in so many areas prior to the decision. A country or a city is very different when experienced as a visitor compared to as a resident.
Plan Onwards workshops were created and developed with these adjustments, questions and challenges in mind, focusing on preparing you to be prepared.
The objective of the workshop is to clarify our wants and needs for retirement and set a plan in motion that will get us there.
The workshop walks one through:
- Why plan? The changing nature of retirement.
- Life planning (not just Financial Planning).
- Stages of planning (from pre-retirement to post-retirement).
- The timeline for planning.
- Deal-makers and deal-breakers: Anticipating the obstacles and staying on track.
Interestingly, there has been a trend where people don't retire in the traditional manner. They choose an alternative career path or lifestyle they want to follow. In a certain way, it is a time to re-invent oneself. And to create this new life, one needs to plan it.
"Plan Onwards- preparing you to be prepared"