John Bullis: Planning a successful retirement

The traditional retirement planning isn’t 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’s 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 shouldn’t 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 ranked 10th out of 43 stressful events. Some folks feel overwhelmed or out of sorts in the first few years of retirement.

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

We’re living longer. However, some folks don’t know what to do about that. Some worry living longer just means they’ll be less capable for longer periods of time. It’s 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’s important and what we want to pass on. Laura says once that’s 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

John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser who has served Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs.


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