Evaluate Retirement-Options Against Fifteen Factors

Retirement-options that we have are to a great extent limited by our individual circumstances, including the state of our health and finances. In that respect our options are unique to each of us as individuals.

Some life circumstances with which we have to deal are the result of personal choices and some are the result of environmental factors beyond our control. But many of these circumstances can be managed by recognizing them and developing a plan to cope with them.

Many of us have options in determining when we retire and what our retirement destination will be. Many of us can choose what our retirement lifestyle will be. The two major limiting factors for most of us are health and income (as if you needed me to tell you that).

Whether you have already retired or you are a few years before retirement, you should evaluate your retirement-options against your anticipated future retirement needs and your current health and financial realities. Be realistic about your retirement needs, set goals, prepare a retirement budget and seek the help of the appropriate professional consultant.

Each critical area of our life that needs attention in planning retirement will have its own set of decision points or retirement-options. Each of these areas will include the classic where, when, and how questions.

The following are fifteen factors for consideration in evaluating retirement options:

  1. What is our goal for retirement?
  2. What impact will the state of our health have on retirement decisions?
  3. What lifestyle changes can we make or are we willing to make to improve our health?
  4. If we move to another location a change of family physician and other arrangements for healthcare should be made.
  5. What retirement lifestyle will our financial resources support?
  6. What actions can we take to improve our financial condition?
  7. Will we continue working at a part or full-time job after retirement?Improving income by finding a job after retirement may be difficult given the current state of the economy. However, there are jobs to be found. The AARP web site publishes a list of senior friendly employers. A retirement job can help us maintain our sense of purpose and professional identity.
  8. What are the tax implications, if we withdraw funds from tax advantaged savings?
  9. When do you want to retire? When can you afford to retire? Do you want to retire at all or just slow down?
  10. Deciding where you will retire? Once free from a job, you can live anywhere that you prefer provided that it is within your financial means. Your choices of location could include a warmer climate, closer to family, income opportunities, friends and neighbors or to a location with a lower cost of living. What is important to you?
  11. Deciding what type of retirement housing is appropriate?
  12. Should we consider retiring at home? Retiring at home is a good option. If you consider this option, you should check to see if your home is designed and equipped to accommodate your physical needs as you age in place. Your safety at home should be a serious consideration.
  13. Should we consider a continuing care retirement community? Continuing care retirement offers a socially active lifestyle with optional wellness and nutritional support services.
  14. What type of insurance will we be needing and how do we pay for it?
  15. What spiritual options do we have and what are the potential pitfalls of indecision?

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In the end it's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. Abraham  Lincoln

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