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Retirement in 12 Steps

Think and plan for the long term by devising simple, achievable steps.

Bryan Hirsch




Human beings, it is said, are distinguished from other species by our ability to think. While this may be true, it is also true that most of us have difficulty thinking about the long term and preparing for it.

We are all caught up in the daily ‘thick and thin of things’.  In this way we carry with us the immediacy of our animal cousins. Thinking in advance, and acting on these thoughts, are keys to being ready for the future when it turns inexorably into the present.

The younger you are, the more distant retirement seems – and the more power you have to prepare financially for this time. Some of the important questions we should ask ourselves are how much will I need for my retirement in order to live comfortably? What are my goals? When should I start? What should I do? What expenses might I have once I have retired?

Start preparing for retirement today

We often wait too long to ask these questions. They may surface dimly on occasion, in a remote and dusty corner of the mind. In preparation for that comfortable retirement you should consider the following 12 steps.

  1. Recognise that retirement is more than choosing a date to do so.
  2. Determine what it will take and how to get there.
  3. Know how your job/profession contributes to your retirement needs.
  4. Recognise when to use tax deferred savings and when not to.
  5. Invest for the future and into the future.
  6. Be aware of the impact of working during retirement.
  7. Recognise that your home is a lifestyle asset and is unlikely to produce income.
  8. Remember that taxes do continue after you retire.
  9. Determine how you will receive retirement plan benefits.
  10. Ensure your hard earned wealth stays in the family.
  11. Examine your insurance needs, particularly medical cover.

And what about step 12?

This is the step of utmost importance, the one that, if forgotten, condemns us to a life of never ending work.

Here it is: step 12 a)
When all else fails, repeat steps 1 – 11.

Why do I say this?  Because plans are just that – plans. Outside influences over which one has no control can easily destroy them.

Be prepared

As the two-handed investment analyst says ‘on the other hand’, your plan may not fail, it may work wonderfully.

However, the first 11 steps deal primarily with money issues.  They fail to address those facets of retired life that have little to do with finances.

So, let us look at step 12 b)

Reflect on personal issues of retirement.

Think about it. You know what they are. When you no longer work, you have plenty of time to fill. When the golf or bowls games become boring, what will take their place?

During our working lives we have many social contacts with our co-workers. Who will take their place to satisfy our basic human needs for companionship and social interaction?

One thing is certain: a couple, no matter how devoted to each other, cannot spend 24 hours a day, day after day, in the exclusive company of one another. Both need outside interests and companions.

Quality of life

There are other quality of life issues such as housing and its location, physical health maintenance, availability of community services, both volunteer and paid work, educational interests and leisure pursuits.

These issues will define our life and happiness during retirement.  Money is the tool that keeps us physically comfortable but these are factors that make us who we are.  They determine how we live and behave.  Statistics show an increase in longevity so we are likely to spend at least one third or more of our lives in retirement.

Retirement is that time of life at which we have gained sufficient experience to lose our job.  Put another way, we want to reach the stage where having worked all our lives to make money we want our money to work for us.

BRYAN HIRSCH has been in the financial services industry for 47 years and is a director of Bryan Hirsch Colley & Associates. He has written two books, the first Bryan Hirsch’s Guide to Personal Finance and more recently, Steps to Financial Freedom. Bryan has written for many of South Africa’s top financial and business publications, has been a weekly guest on Radio SAFM for 18 years, and has his own weekly TV show You & Your Money on Summit TV.


Personal Finance

10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year

Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.

Murray Newlands



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Becoming a millionaire may seem out of your reach, but it’s possible with the right attitude and guidance. The fact of the matter is your income can only grow as quickly as you do, so you need to change your mindset to achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire.

Once you have a millionaire mind, you can’t lose it, no matter what financial or business mistakes you make along the way. To get yourself there, you’re going to need some structure. To help you, I’ve outlined the top ten tips you should follow to become a millionaire this year.

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Personal Finance

If You Think These 5 Things, You’ll Never Get Rich By The Time You’re 30

Five common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business and how to correct them.



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Last week, I had lunch with a millennial who wanted some advice about a business he’s starting. After the usual small talk, we got down to discussing his business plan. Within a short time, it was clear that his business idea was great, his plan for executing was fairly solid and he had gathered together a strong team to help him make it happen.

So far, so good. But, to be frank, this guy has no chance of being successful with his current mentality. What it takes to be rich (or successful in any measure) has a lot more to do with your mindset than your ideas and plans.

From the time we started in business at the ripe ages of six and seven, our Grandpa Joe taught my brother Matthew and me many lessons about the details of running a profitable business. Over the years, we learned about how to create a business plan; how to market our products and services; and how to take care of customers, vendors and employees. All this knowledge has been invaluable to us in creating and running successful businesses. But, what our grandfather taught us about attitude and mindset trumps all other lessons.

Without calling out the specific individual I spoke with recently, below are five “hypothetical” attitudes that will get you nowhere in your journey to success – and the attitudes that should replace them.

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Personal Finance

5 Habits That Lead To Millionaire Business Success

You need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.

Timothy Sykes




What do all millionaire businesspeople have in common? Well, a lot of things.

I found from a recent study that 80 percent of all millionaires still go to work every single day. They’re working people just like me. But, they have to keep themselves in work or it all grinds to a halt. So what are the habits you need to make your business a success?

1. Patience

Nothing is ever going to come easy. You can look at the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as well as the other usual suspects, to realize that success didn’t come with their first venture. Many of them failed time and time again. It took patience for them to become successful.

I read an article recently about 36-year-old teacher Andrew Hallam who became a self-made millionaire on a teaching salary. But, in his spare time he invested smart and lived frugally.

It proves you don’t have to inherit lots of money or become an instant success to make a millionaire business.

Related: 4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little

2. Dedication

You have to be dedicated to your craft if you’re going to become successful. Going back to Bill Gates again, he started his business in the back of his garage. Now that’s dedication.

It’s what I tell all my students. If they’re not dedicated to this, then they should leave. You need to be able to push through the barren periods if you’re going to reach the oasis of success.

3. Ambition and big dreams

Have you ever heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”?

I take that to heart because even if you aim to become a billionaire and miss you still might be a millionaire many times over. Take the Wright Brothers as an example. Not content with creating a successful glider in 1902 they went on to create the world’s first airplane in 1903, making four brief flights in Kitty Hawk. It demonstrates the importance of dreaming big because you never know what you might achieve.

Related: 12 Millionaire Habits To Start Making Serious Money Soon And Build Wealth In A Hurry

4. Learn from mistakes

Every good businessperson will mess something up. It’s inevitable. What’s important is how you learn from your mistakes over time. Do you adapt after making your mistakes?

Millionaire businesspeople always set some time aside to reflect. Then they create a plan of action for ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. Most failed businesspeople put it down to “bad luck.”

5. Focus on niches

This important! Try to take over a whole industry at once and you’ll inevitably get swallowed up by the competition. Start small and control your own niche before moving into another niche. When you master your small area, you can push on and expand.

Related: 21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be

You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to expand after you master your own niche/audience first.

Do you have what it takes? That’s the question I always ask novice businesspeople. You need a plan and you need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.

This article was originally posted here on

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