The question posed in our heading remains problematic – so many people are not ready for their retirement.
Some believe that they can rely on a government pension (which is only true for the poorest retirees) and some are simply caught off guard, having worked hard all their life before ‘suddenly’ reaching retirement age.
Before we return to the question that we started with, a quick note about human nature. We often meet people who have been delaying their visit to a financial advisor for much the same reason that they postpone their next dentist appointment.
Perhaps you are scared, and you feel somehow more comfortable not knowing the exact state of your retirement savings. Perhaps you are a bit ashamed for not heeding the call and preparing for retirement in your twenties, thirties or even forties. Or perhaps you are simply still too busy and it, like your next teeth cleaning, can wait.
Whatever the reason might be, there is absolutely no shame or judgement in our offices. We celebrate every person who has taken the time or built up the courage to face their future, albeit an uncertain one. We help them wherever they are in their life and financial situation.
Now returning to the question at hand – how do you know if you are ready for retirement or not?
Some prudent planners will say that if you have to ask that question, you may very well not be ready for retirement.
That is perhaps a bit simplistic, but it does shine the light on a very important point – you are primarily responsible for your retirement.
Government pensions, provided that your assets and income is low enough or completely non-existent, is a meagre R1 890 per month, so you cannot rely on the state to care for you after hanging up your working boots.
And working for a company does not guarantee you a sufficient pension. Open those letters from your retirement fund, ask for help from your HR department and ask a professional financial advisor for help.
Making use of the services of a fee-based financial planner makes sense as there is no pressure on the advisor to sell a product to earn their bread and butter. Products may be necessary to implement the advice, but this is secondary to the advice being given.
A CFP will also consider your life goals, your personal aims and concerns and the state of the market to create a plan that fits you personally.
And lastly, a professional CFP will walk with you every step of the way. You can count on them to be available on the other side of the line when you are worried, when you hear of a new investment opportunity or when you simply want the assurance that your affairs are in safe hands.
So, to answer the question in the heading – your chances of being ready for retirement can be boosted substantially by getting professional help and developing and sticking to a robust retirement plan.