Kim Gaxiola’s fifth and final tip: Ease Into Retirement

The first step to easing into retirement is finding out if your employer would even allow for it to happen. Can you begin to scale back your hours? Even if you have worked out a plan to have your total hours covered by job sharing or delegation, is it even a possibility?

Kim says, “In the words of my kids: ‘I’m afraid to ask because I think you’re going to say ‘no.’’ But you have to ask. I think a lot of employees have an idea already, because they know the culture of their workplace, whether they’re going to have an easy time or a hard time asking for this. I tell my kids all the time, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”  You cannot ask until you feel comfortable enough with the possibility of taking ‘no’ for an answer. This is another area where career coaching can be helpful, as I mention in tip #4. You need to have a financial foundation in place, you need to be in a position where you can live for three, six, nine or even twelve months on your own income until you’re able to make a change that will work for you.”

“The worst-case scenario is they say ‘no.’ If that happens, you have to be able to say ‘okay, here’s my plan B,’ and then you need to have the ability to attack it.”

And Kim says this is important: “In any type of negotiation, you have to be willing to walk away, or it’s going to be really hard to negotiate.”

This negotiation is meant to help you begin to ease into retirement, but it can also improve your work situation so much that you may want to put off retirement for a little while longer, since you have just made your work/life balance more pleasing, given your circumstances at that time in your life.  The longer you can generate an income from working, the more money you will have working for you when you do reach the point where your expenses exceed your earned income. By seeking professional advice and having a plan in place, learning how to take these steps, you can not only secure your future, but you can improve your immediate day to day life by negotiating for a more favorable employment situation.

“When preparing to negotiate,” Kim goes on to say, “it also helps to think outside the box about how you can get somebody to help you get your job done. If you love some of the aspects of your job, maybe you could hire an assistant or an intern to take over some of the aspects of your job that you don’t like. Maybe you hire someone to take over your paperwork. There are creative ways to go about this that would make you more productive at what you like to do, and leave all the less productive work you don’t like by hiring somebody to help with that.”

“If you work for a corporation, you can ask to hire an assistant, but there are ways to get around this if the answer is ‘no.’ Is there a way to pay for it out of your budget? Maybe a portion of your salary is what goes toward paying for an assistant.  What you’re getting in return is that you are able to work less and focus more on what you want to be doing. With a thorough plan in place, you will know whether or not you can afford to pursue this as an option.”

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The entire retirement planning process is complicated, and can be a tremendously emotional ordeal. As a financial planner, convincing a client that this is the right way to go vs. that, Kim knows what it’s like to help clients through the emotional aspects of this process.

Of this, Kim says, “ there’s a lot of reassuring I have to do along the way with clients, and everyone transitions in their own time. But it is really great to build these long-term relationships with people, and I can see them slowly making the emotional journey as well as the financial one. Working with people over time, with people who have become my friends, whose trust I have earned, seeing their plans come together over time that is really satisfying.”

A high-powered client may not need much hand holding, but there are many financial planners who love the relationship aspect of the process. This gets back to Kim’s advice to find an advisor who you feel you might like as a person – a friend who wants to look out for you, who wants to help you be happy.

Seeking professional help is a great way to rest assured that your retirement plan is in good hands, that your retirement experience will be the best that it can be.

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Go to techgirlfinancial.com to learn about the Lean In to Retirement strategy, and get practical advice on how to begin taking the steps you need to take to ensure a secure and happy retired life.

The story behind each of the five steps appears here on Moxievoice. Kim will be shares her own expert opinions that go well beyond the practical steps you can find at TechGirl Financial,  she shares her own personal journey as she navigates through this process herself.

TechGirl Financial serves individual clients managing their portfolios, corporate retirement plan benefits such as 401(k)s and profit sharing plans, and provides financial workshops to professional associations, and worksites.

Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Cambridge and TechGirl Financial are not affiliated.