Think you might want to move once you’re no longer chained to a desk? Once upon a time, you retired at 65 with a party and a pocket watch. Nowadays, we make the decision to marry later, have children later in life, and think of retirement as a goal, much EARLIER. As your goal date for retirement get closer and closer, it is time to decide: When will you Retire in Williamsburg?
Surveys at www.Topretirements.com indicate that there are a significant number of people who feel they retired too early, so I urge you to be sure you are ready before you take the plunge. Here are some questions to ponder, to discuss with loved ones, and to get you brainstorming.
- Have you had enough?
- Do you have enough?
- Do you have enough to do?
Have you had enough?
If you cannot wait to burn your work clothes, or you’re sick and tired and can’t take it anymore, you are motivated. But …wait. Is your job your identity? Many professions are service and duty and figuratively “make” the man (or woman, as the case may be); leaving that behind can be very unsettling. This can be especially unsettling if you haven’t thought my other questions through.
Do you have enough?
You should shoot for your after-retirement income as 80% of your current income. These incomes will include pension, Social Security, IRA withdrawals, any part-time work, and investment income. Most people can live on a bit less after they stop working, but most of your big expenses will continue. And even if you can live on less, medical expenses will, likely, be higher. Many people severely underestimate how much it costs to provide their own health insurance until they reach 65 and Medicare kicks in. A husband and wife can, easily, pay $1,000 a month in premiums and have a $500 deductible. It is fairly easy to estimate how much your Social Security and pension will generate, but figuring out what your investments will provide is more complex. A common rule of thumb is that you can, safely, use 3-4% of your total investment savings, each year, and not run out of money. If you are the recipient of a substantial defined benefit pension – Lucky You! To make the most of this figurative gold mine, DON’T retire before you are fully vested. Can you live without collecting Social Security until you are 66 or older? For each year you delay claiming the benefit, your benefit will increase 8%. Consider working longer or using annuities to live on. Do you know how long you’ll live past retirement? Of course not – but you can make an educated guess. Use the longevity calculator at the Social Security website, for estimation. Lastly, make sure to pay your mortgage off, your education loans and credit cards off or make sure the sale of your current home will pay them off. If you don’t have enough money to live comfortably, it will be hard to be happy. Most retirement surveys indicate that having enough money is very important to a successful and fulfilling retirement.
Do you have enough to do?
Develop some strong interests, hobbies, or friendships outside of work, before you retire. You will be happier if you have some ideas and experience with how to stay busy, before you cut the cord. Not having enough to do is a highly rated choice in retirement surveys. Most people would agree that busy people are happy people. How will you stay busy?
Let’s say that all these questions have led you to the idea that it is time to start thinking, dreaming, and envisioning your forever, dream home. Dreams are very motivating and enrich your current life. Be specific in your dreams and goals as this helps your retirement home realtor help narrow choices. I hope that these questions useful in your preparation for retirement. Retirement is not cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all, but retirement IS a big deal – it is a second chance on life and a chance to live the way you should have at 30 but didn’t.
What hobby have you recently taken up, in preparation for Retirement?
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Rolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO
Licensed in Virginia
Liz Moore and Associates,
5350 Discovery Park Blvd.
Williamsburg, VA 23188
Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.