Putting The ‘Golden’ In Your Retirement Years
Posted on 11 January, 2021 at 04:36
By Trymore Munhenga
Sometimes it’s the dreams we have that make us have the
gumption to work towards our retirement. The overwhelming task of choosing to
plan for retirement beyond a pension is a reality that most try to evade.
For the most part, retirement is an expected event that gives us time to plan. Failing to plan how we want to retire, the lifestyle we wish to have and the income we desire to receive only leads to a miserable life in retirement.
I refer to the retirement years as the ‘golden’ years because they’re meant to be the best years of your life! After the relentless toil you are finally in a place where you want to enjoy the reward for hard labor. Peacefully.
The retirement plan does not start with choosing a figure for contribution but rather understanding the type of retirement you want. Will it involve buying a house? Will you want to travel? Do you still have to incur education expenses? Will you want to start a new hobby? All this is very person specific, which won’t make sense if you opt to choose a mere figure or pin all your hopes on a pension. This process of breaking down your retirement lifestyle is critical. Experience from 2020 has also taught us that crises can occur during the retirement years and it’s something you have to prepare for too.
Conditions and reasons for retirement are different for everyone. It is very common however for one to end up having early retirement which makes it important to consider this during your retirement planning. Which is a very strong reason for why you must start your retirement planning now. The earlier you start, the better you are at accumulating substantial savings for your ‘golden’ years.
With the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus, we have all faced shocks in our finances. The common response has been to wait and see how the economy reacts in the short term. This position is not wise because each day you’re getting closer to your retirement without an adequate plan. Yes, you can’t fireproof your life because things happen that you may not be in control of but you can mitigate the severity of whatever life serves you. That’s what differentiates a person with a plan and one with nothing.
Ways to Plan Better towards Retirement.
• Firstly, build a retirement savings plan in hard currency (USD, GBP or Euro). This is important because our currencies are not the most stable and it will help you hedge against crises (economic , political)
• Get a financial advisor, especially an independent advisor, who is able to give you access to any product you may require in your retirement savings plan. Non independent advisors are limited to the products that their firm offers.?
• Build your financial literacy, because this helps you understand better how your retirement savings plan is structured. It’s also an asset during your years of contributing towards your retirement because it helps in your spending and earning decisions.
• Establish a separate emergency fund for yourself because you want to protect and grow your retirement savings plan. There will be emergencies in life which you don’t have an option but to take care of. It’s best to create a separate account or fund for your emergencies.
• Diversify your investments, as they’re a contributing stream of income in your retirement years. It’s risky to be heavily invested in one asset class such as property because it affects your liquidity. There’s great security in having a diversified portfolio of investments not only in terms of asset classes but also the countries where you hold your investments.
• Lastly, consider having an offshore retirement savings plan especially when you’re from less stable economies, if your job involves great mobility and for tax planning purposes.
Trymore Munhenga is a finance professional based in Harare. He works for an international wealth management and investment advisory firm. Trymore can be reached on email@example.com