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An interview with retirement expert Barry LaValley

You may have already seen the kiwi version of the internationally-acclaimed book ‘So you think you’re ready to retire?” on our website – or even read the book yourself.  This was put together by world authority on retirement lifestyle planning, Barry LaValley, in conjunction with Canterbury-based firm Cambridge Partners, and launched late last year to huge national media interest.

Barry has just been back to run a series of sell-out retirement planning seminars, so we grabbed a quick interview with him between sessions.

How important is money to a happy retirement?
Most pre-retirees believe the key to happiness is having enough money to enjoy their lives. But studies have shown happiness has nothing to do with aging or money.

Those who are already retired place more importance on good relationships and good health, so money becomes less important than other aspects such as good relationships and fulfilling activities.

How can people successfully make the transition from full-time work to retirement?
Many find it helpful to continue working part-time, or find a way to pass on their business knowledge to others as a consultant, trainer or advisor.

Ironically, I often encounter people who have started looking for work again a couple of years into their retirement.  They have had a great ‘honeymoon period’, but reach a point where they want something more fulfilling to incorporate into their days.

How important are hobbies and sport to enjoying retirement?
These are very important!  But bear in mind that there is a big difference between “time-filling” activities and “fulfilling” activities.

Many look forward to spending more time on activities they can currently only do occasionally, like playing more golf.  But if you play golf every day, sooner or later it’s going to start feeling like a job too!  As with so many things, the key is balance.

How do you make your investments last?
This is where a quality financial advisor can really play a huge role.  An independent fee-only company like Cambridge Partners can sit down with you and find out what sort of retirement you would like, which will help dictate the level of income you need to live on.

Allowances can be made for large one-off expenses, and other elements are also factored in.  From this, interactive cashflow modelling can be completed and a very clear picture will emerge.

What are the key things to do now to ensure a happy retirement?
If you want a retirement that you can enjoy, rather than just endure, my advice is start thinking about your retirement sooner rather than later, share your plans with your partner and family, and get the help of a good Financial Advisor.

Click the link below to purchase the book now, get in quick as stocks are limited.