There is a perception, and a false perception at that, among some people that retirement is something to be feared, or at least not looked forward to in a positive way. The idea of slowing down in life and generally taking it easy after a lifetime in a busy and fulfilling career is for some people a very unappealing concept. These people tend to be the sort of individuals who would also describe themselves as entrepreneurs; people who are stimulated by the fast-paced and challenging world of business; people who live to work.

In reality, retirement can be one of the most fruitful and exciting times in anyone’s life. For entrepreneurs, who tend to be the sort of people who particularly enjoy new experiences and adventures, it provides a unique opportunity to do just this. Retirees often discover that they have more time and fewer responsibilities than ever before. With some careful financial planning, they can also ensure they have the funds to make the most of this unique and liberating situation.

Happy retired entrepreneur
photo credit: Ed Yourdon

Retirement planning

Careful retirement planning is critical to ensuring that this special time can be enjoyed to its fullest extent. However, it has been suggested by some that such careful planning goes against the very nature and personality of most entrepreneurs and businesspeople. It can feel pessimistic, the implication being that such planning suggests an assumption that one’s business will never grow big enough to support them well into retirement. Such a lack of confidence is unthinkable for most entrepreneurs.

In reality, it is not pessimistic for anyone to save for retirement. It is just common sense, and entrepreneurs, with their flair for spotting opportunities and capitalizing on these, are in many ways best placed to do this and do it brilliantly. It is simply a case of investing in oneself as one would invest in a business.

Piggy bank as a tool
photo credit: OTA Photos

Planning methods and tools

Here are some ways of planning and some information on the tools that are available to help:

1. Money management plan

No two people are exactly the same. We each have our own ambitions; dreams, lifestyles and preferences, so it is only logical that no two money management plans should be the same. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. One thing everyone does have in common, however, is the need for a personalized long-term strategy that is tailored to meet their requirements; a strategy that takes into account financial objectives, current cash flow needs, investment experience, personal and predicted financial circumstances and any existing investments. This plan then needs to be continually reviewed to ensure it is fit for purpose and that a portfolio adapts to match any significant life events or changes in personal goals.

Some money management planning resources to recommend:

2. Retirement calculators

Ongoing monitoring is critical to the long-term success of any money management plan, and retirement calculators play an invaluable role in this. At the most fundamental level, these potentially extremely powerful tools provide a quick and simple means of estimating how much money is required for retirement, ensuring that any decisions about investments can be based on the most accurate figures and as little guesswork as possible. They also help to provide a picture for how to achieve personal financial ambitions as well as whether or not a current money management plan is on track. Such a plan can then be tweaked as necessary to ensure it continues to deliver. Annuity calculators and 401(k) calculators are among the common tools in this area.

Some retirement planning tools to recommend:

 

3. Expert advice

Finally, the most important consideration is to get some expert advice from people who understand the financial sector and can advise on the best pension funds in which to invest. Despite the fact it is something for which everyone is expected to take personal responsibility, retirement planning has the potential to be a complex and at times very daunting area. Therefore, enlisting the best possible support and advice from trusted people who manage a diverse range of financial products every day is the best way of guaranteeing success in this area.

Some experts to follow include:

Time, freedom and financial security

Retirement has the potential to be the most enjoyable, exciting and rewarding time of anyone’s life, and all it takes is a bit of careful planning to ensure that this is the case. Unprecedented levels of time and freedom can be fully enjoyed to their greatest extent when supported by financial security, and this security can be best achieved by proper research and expert advice.