Are you, like countless millions of others, so-called “planning your retirement” i.e. crossing your fingers and hoping your nest egg will provide for you during your golden years but really not sure if it will? Whether you’re 35 or 55, don’t fool yourself into thinking that building a nest egg and dreaming of walking off into some kind of ‘retirement sunset’ is retirement planning, it’s not. Check out this amazingly simple and helpful 5Ws (and 1 H) formula of retirement planning.

The 5Ws (and 1H) Formula of Retirement Planning
The 5Ws (and 1H) is simple information-gathering concept used in journalism, research, and even police investigations! It is a useful formula for getting the "full" story on something, even your retirement!
The 5Ws (and 1H) retirement planning formula will allow you to start formulating a “who, what, when, where, how and why” mental picture and corresponding plan of action for your retirement.
1. Who – Who are you going to spend your retirement with? Retirement can be isolating especially if you’re living alone. You are also most likely leaving behind work colleagues, etc. So make sure you have built an independent social network outside of work, and stay in close contact with your family and friends. Becoming an active member of some clubs and/or communities is also a good idea.
2. What – What is the minimum monthly income you will need to cover your likely expenses (medical, housing, travel, long-term care, insurance, lifestyle, etc)? If you didn’t retire, what would you do instead? What activities will you pursue and how? What is your likely life expectancy?
3. When – At what age would you ideally like to retire? This is the single most important question to ask yourself (along with estimating till what age you think you’ll live) as this will determine the duration and extent of your retirement income needs.
4. Where – Where are you going to spend your retirement? Will it be in some sunny retirement-friendly location or will you stay put in your current home. Will the cost of living be different (i.e. more or less) in your new retirement location?
5. Why – Why do you want to retire anyway? What’s your motivation? Do you plan on living longer and therefore retiring as young as possible from the daily grind of the workplace? Do you want to achieve something that heretofore your working life has prevented you from achieving?
6. How – How will you generate income during your retirement? Assuming you won’t be physically or mentally active enough to ‘earn’ all your income during retirement, what assets will you need to generate sufficient passive income to cover your expenses? What additional savings should you have to support you and your family?
Having Something to Retire To
Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to. In addition to planning your retirement income you must also plan your retirement activities. Having sufficient retirement income is one thing but having social, leisure, travel and other activities planned in advance will ensure you get to enjoy your retirement and even increase your life expectancy.
Don’t put off your retirement savings and investment planning until 10 years before you’re due to retire. Seriously, at that stage it’s gonna be too late. If you are planning on retiring in the near future, plan your retirement lifestyle in addition to your retirement finances.
Retire from Work, But not from Life!
Retirement doesn’t have to mean you have to spend the remainder of your days on the golf course and nights as preferred babysitter to your grandchildren! It could mean:
Learning a new skill
• Studying and education
• Developing an old hobby or starting a new one
• Taking on new adventures,
• Staying or becoming physically active
Volunteering and contributing
• Etc

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