Is a Happy Retirement Possible for Normal People?

Jul 01, 2019

Retirement is a real thing and yes, happy retirement does not come cheap. Or does it?

Unfortunately, only 6% of South Africans get to retire happily and comfortably due to a lack of proactive saving and investing. Most people over the age of 65 have difficulty retiring happily and stress-free because they are still working to make ends meet. This doesn’t have to happen.

Your income is enough

Besides the endless options of retirement funds available that will fit your need, happy retirement (financially) is all about starting early. This enables you to get out of the frustrations of day to day stress and to actually give yourself the freedom of celebrating your life after reaching the big 65.

We’re not saying you need to retire

Too many people think retiring is about knitting your whole day away and waiting for time to pass. This is not the case. Retiring is about experiencing and exploring things and places that were not possible while working.

Retiring gives you the freedom of going on that trip you’ve dreamt of going on for years. Many retired people use this time and money to pursue their life-long dream of maybe becoming small business owners. Retiring does not mean you wait for time to pass. Retiring simply gives you peace of mind about where the money will come from so that you do not have to exhaust yourself with daily worries.

3 Steps to a happy retirement

Create a plan

Set a clear and realistic goal to when and how much you would like to save up and do what is needed to reach that goal. Remember to keep track of your goal and how far you are from reaching it, this way you can create daily motivators. Saving money needs to become a priority on your checklist each month in order to establish a long-term financial happiness.

Start saving today

Deciding to save from an early stage increases the potential of your capital to grow. The earlier you start the better. There might be risks involved with some savings plans so, have a look at the bigger picture when you start saving. It can be as simple as allocating R300 a month to a starter retirement plan.

The "weight" behind your retirement plan will depend on how simple or how cost-heavy your life will be in the future. If you plan on living a "rich" life when you retire, you need to maximise your savings from as early as possible. Some people even achieve a 50% savings rate per month on their salary!

Develop and monitor your budget

Establishing healthy financial habits within your “young years” creates long term benefits. This creates a solid financial foundation which also equips you to (once you are retired) to spend all of your retirement funds in a less rigid way.

Bottom line

Very few people who retire continue to keep living the same lifestyle as they did while working. That is simply the reality. There are ways to overcome that fear by preparing proactively. You can choose now whether your retirement will be the most stressful time of your life or the best you've ever had.

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