Retirement: Playing Catch Up

By Heinz Bulos

You’ve finally worked the numbers. And they fall short. What to do when a comfortable retirement seems beyond your reach? Here are five ways:

  1. Delay your retirement date

    If your savings have not caught up with your plans, you just have to bump up your retirement date. The HSBC report called “The Future of Retirement” indicated that the average retirement age is 62 for Filipino men and 57 for women. If you’re thinking of quitting work when you’re 60, push it back a few more years. If you’re employed, the mandatory retirement age is 65, but you can try to arrange a consulting gig with your employer.

  2. Work at least part-time

    Retirement doesn’t have to be no-work and all-play. It should be financial independence, not an end to your productive years. The HSBC study also showed that most Filipino respondents plan to work at least part-time during retirement. That’s because, according to the study, “in transitional economies, people cannot usually afford to retire when they would like to.” But it also noted that Filipinos planned to work as long as they can not just to remain self-sufficient but to keep themselves physically and mentally fit.

  3. Rebalance your investment portfolio

    You may be too conservative an investor. In case most of your money is invested in traditional time deposits or money market placements, BDO Private Bank Wealth Advisor Joby Lizares says you should consider “allocating to longer and higher yielding securities like bonds, structured products, UITFs, mutual funds, and equities—depending on market timing and conditions—and other products that your private banker or relationship manager can advise and offer.”

  4. Make money from your home

    You’re facing an empty nest, so consider selling your house and move to a smaller and cheaper one. You can use the cash left to augment your retirement savings. Another option is to take out a home equity loan.

  5. Cut back on your expenses

    If you have to, lower your expectations and cut down on your retirement dreams. Forego the planned annual trips abroad or forget about the beach house you’re eyeing. Consider moving to another city or province where property values, food, and recreational activities are much cheaper without sacrificing your quality of life.

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