As with everything else in life, nothing is certain when it comes to retirement – redundancy, illness or even death can interrupt the best of plans but it is important to have a plan.
GMan and I plan to retire from full-time paid employment in about 3.5 years so it is still some time away yet. We have worked hard to get to this point and have a financial plan that is coming together. Our goal is to be able to live a comfortable existence on our terms.
This post is not about superannuation, investments or even travel plans – although we do give that quite a lot of thought. It is about forecasting future needs and changing circumstances.
I was thinking about this yesterday as I folded and put away clothes. GMan does not generally wear a suit to work but his attire is mostly business shirts and trousers. However, the dress code seems to have become increasingly casual over the last 10 years. He no longer wears ties every day and even the shirts that are worn in his workplace are less of a business shirt and more of a hybrid business or casual item.
So, how much of this will be worn once he walks out of the office for the last time? This is where the planning comes in. It seems ridiculous to think that we could be left with 3 or 4 pairs of trousers and 8 – 10 business shirts that may never be worn again in a few years time.
I have decided to try to keep track of approximately how long a shirt lasts. I think it is around 3 or 4 years. About half of the shirts GMan wears now also double as shirts for dressier non-work occasions. I hope that any future purchases will also fit this category and they will not be redundant when no longer required for wearing to work. Keeping the number of shirts to the minimum (6 or 7) is also a goal. This will give me very little leeway when it comes to washing and ironing each week.
Even socks can be considered when reviewing clothing needs. The front row of socks in the photo are mostly the ones GMan wears to work – black, grey or navy but they are rarely worn with casual outfits as he tends to mostly wear lighter colored trousers and often different shoes and thicker socks. Some of these socks are very nearly at the end of their life. Some have been darned several times. I think he could get away with not replacing them and keep wearing the remaining ones.
Why the focus on GMan? What about my own clothes? I am in the fortunate position of wearing very similar clothes for both work and casual wear. However, I have taken note of those items that are worn more at work and will be less inclined to replaced those styles in the next 3 years. I will also consider how any future purchases will fit into a post-employment wardrobe.
I can visualise how easily changes of lifestyle or circumstances could result in a build-up of clutter if steps are not taken to identify and remove those things that are no longer used or useful. This is particularly evident as children grow up. Think of the things that are considered essential for a baby who is less than 12 months old. Are any of them still relevant 5 years later when are going to school? While it is reasonable to keep large items such as a cot or high-chair for subsequent children, there is no logic in stashing piles of baby equipment and toys in the garage or attic. Pass them on to someone who can use them now.
What is your life-stage? Are you planning for change? Do you have stuff that is no longer relevant to your life?