Throughout the course of a few years, I have noticed that many people have an interesting perception of what retirement is like. In fact, if I go back to when I was younger, I also had a certain expectation from my years in retirement. However, it is only when you enter the retirement lifestyle you realize just how different the reality can be from the dream of retirement.
- The dream is that every single day, there will be an exciting adventure that you can embark upon. You can learn and experience new things that you would not have had the time for otherwise.
The reality is that initially, you can experience that sense of excitement. Everyday brings about possibilities for something new and exciting. However, after a few months pass by, you tend to get bored. We are used to living a fast paced life where we juggle various responsibilities all at once. Having so much spare time can be overwhelming since you tend to run out of activities to do –due to factors like age, finance, desire and lack of will.
- The dream is that not having to wake up early in the morning to work will be a luxurious experience. The dread that you feel when the alarm clock ticks off at 7 o’clock in the morning will no longer be felt in the years of retirement.
The reality is that, as mentioned above, we are used to a fast paced, structured lifestyle. HSBC reported that almost 64 percent of retirees wished that they could have worked a job for a little while longer. There is something comforting about a routine to follow it gives you a sense of purpose.
- The dream is that you will be able to pursue any activity you wish like. There will be no limiting factor, especially monetarily, because of all the preparations you have made for retirement before.
The reality is that the amount of finance at your disposal will be a major limiting factor when it comes to things you want to do. Even though we all have retirement pans when we are employed, it may not prove to be enough to maintain the same lifestyle as before. The loss of a steady income can force you to make tough decisions so that you can live comfortably.
- The dream is that expenses in retirement will reduce dramatically. The expectation is that there will be little to spend on because things like mortgages will be paid off and transport costs will reduce.
The reality is that once you have retired, the costs seem to add up. This is especially true because you also do not receive a monthly salary through which you can just replenish your finances. You will be spending much more than you are generating. In addition to this, since more than 45 percent of retirees financially support their immediate family, this is another financial burden which may impinge upon your “dream” retirement.