Retirement options and what to think about

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Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand outlines some of the options to consider when thinking about your retirement years.

We spoke about retirement a few months ago and I have sent out quite a few spreadsheets for people to answer the dreaded question: Will I have enough to survive those wondrous years of retired bliss?

I have checked the NZ Statistics web site and there has not been a marked increase of trade suicides over the past eight weeks so I am comfortable in the belief that I have not added to the national mortality rate.

That being said, it brings us back to the question of how do we earn an income when we stop work? For some, that is not an issue as they have been very smart in managing their money over the years and are soundly financially secure. Were they smart or incredibly lucky? Who cares (they don’t) — my hat goes off to them for gaining the position in life most people crave.

Then we come to the larger group of people who have worked so very hard all their lives, got to 60-plus, are mortgage-free, own one, two or more properties, have had a comfortable life and are now wondering what the best course of action for the next 25 or so years is.

Can they live off the rental income? Should they sell some properties and live off the invested funds interest and some rental income? Or cash up the lot, downsize the family home, have one last round the world adventure and then settle down to a moderate life living off the remaining invested funds interest?

There is not a definitive answer to this scenario without knowing all the numbers and the lifestyle that is desired (for example, one chai latte a day or one a week?).

Now comes another rather large group — worked very hard, played very hard, two or more families to support, halved the assets more than once and now got to 60-plus with a “holy explicit” what do I do now? And, hopefully, without a wallet full of blame for the other half or many halves.

So what do you people do? Well, if you can’t find a rich new partner to look after you, I guess we will have to find you a job that’s a little easier on the body than crawling under floor boards.

Before we list all the jobs available (and we’re not going to) to the last group, let’s look at the jobs people have come from. If you are a business owner, have you got something to sell or is it all based on and around you?

If it is then that’s not the smartest way to structure a business to gain maximum sales potential. If it isn’t then, great, it’s saleable or even open to a management structure to give you a passive income.

There’s many scenarios around either option and too many to list here, but they may be well worth exploring. So where can an old, tired, broke tradie seek gainful employment? Outside of the industry, anywhere they like if they get lucky. Within the industry — now that gets a little harder.

There are roles as council inspectors, insurance assessors and the list continues in the same vein — but can you trade the tool belt for paperwork? You could become a building magazine columnist but don’t expect to eat, drink or own a pre-pay phone.

Of course, if you’re good looking, have great communication skills, have a desire to earn a great income and want to give back to an industry that has supported you for decades, you could always become a Trades Coaching New Zealand trades coach.

Now there’s an idea. Call me on 09 945 4880.