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Planning A Successful Retirement - By John R. Bullis, CPA

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

The traditional retirement planning is not helping folks develop a written plan for non-financial aspects according to Robert Laura. Traditional planning is getting the Will and Power of Attorney forms with Trusts in some cases, all to reduce taxes and plan for distribution of assets.

What is also important is to do a written retirement plan for non-financial aspects.

He urges folks to plan to start or establish habits – before retirement. Money is important but we should not be afraid to use some of the savings to create a better life now, instead of waiting until later (like retirement). Investing in better health (habits, etc) and in relationships will make a difference in the quality of life.

He claims research shows active folks with a strong social network are happier in retirement. That can improve the ability to live longer and avoid heart disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Laura points out retirement is tenth of 43 stressful events. Some folks feel overwhelmed or out of sorts in the first few years of retirement.

Of course, you are concerned (or even worried) that your life savings will be gone before you are. Money can be important and that is why the traditional retirement planning usually focuses on money. But the non-financial retirement issues are important and need planning.

We are living longer. However, some folks don’t know what to do about that. Some worry that living longer just means they will be less capable for longer periods of time. It is better to consider using some of the retirement savings to improve life. For example, maybe you can change careers, go back to school or start a business. Col. Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken after he began receiving social security retirement benefits.

Laura says life insurance and long term care planning are important, but we also need to look at brain health. Life has more meaning if we recall fond memories, make new ones, have new experiences.

Maybe a written non-financial estate plan will begin with defining family values, beliefs and traditions. Then it can be easier to see what is important and what we want to pass on. Laura says once that is done the money planning is easier to figure out.

Did you hear “Many people believe that stories are told to put people to sleep. I tell mine to wake them up.” Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav

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