Setting your retirement goals

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In this series, we will be looking into an all-time favourite topic, retirement. When it comes to think of retirement, most people now would have heard of FIRE.


The word FIRE (Financial Independent, Retire Early) was originated from a book “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez in 1992. This is an idea of keeping expenses low while finding ways to raise incomes. Since then, the FIRE motion has gained popularity among working adults and triggered many to start planning for retirement.


First of all, to plan retirement, you need to know your WHY.

Why would you want to retire?

The reasons for your retirement can be categorised into push and pull factors.

Push factors (reactive retirement)

Push factors are caused by things that are against your will or out of your expectations. In many cases, you are forced to retire early. For example:

  • Physically and emotionally demanding work requirements.
  • Physical and health conditions as you age or suffer from disability.
  • Commitment to take care of family member(s) on full-time basis. This can be your special needs child, spouse with sudden medical condition, or ageing parents.
  • Being retrenched because of reduced productivity, high salary, low educational qualification, not able to catch up with technologies or replaced by technologies.
  • Business and operations strategies such as closing down of department, company rightsizing, business acquisition or merger, change of management.

Pull factors (proactive retirement)

While pull factors are reasons that usually motivate you. For example:

  • Work-life balance.
  • Enrich your life experiences.
  • Pursue a passion.
  • Pursue education and experience school life.
  • Start a small business.
  • Take a long break to recharge.
  • Traveling.
  • Engage in volunteering and charity work.

Not everyone gets to retire

It is many people’s dreams to retire. But most of the time, it is easier said than done. Many times, you cannot retire for various reasons:


Not able to

  • Don’t have enough savings to last for a lifetime.
  • Even you have investment, the return is inconsistent and low, cannot beat inflation.
  • Having heavy commitments, such as debts, loans, medical cost, supporting dependents.

Not willing to

  • Not prepared to lower your living standard.
  • Already used to the habit of working and have no plan for retirement.
  • Want to maintain your social circle which mostly are you work colleagues.
  • Want to feel able and useful, worry that health and mental may deteriorate after retiring.
  • You are running your own business and have no succession plan.

What retirement lifestyle you want?

Assuming that you have no financial burdens and health problems, you are all good for retirement. Have you ever asked yourself what kind of lifestyle you want to live for the remaining years to come?

Ideal retirement

An ideal retirement has the following criteria: 

  • Flexibility of time, no work commitment
  • Freedom of choice to pursue other things
  • Continuous and sustainable passive income
  • Reduced expenses
  • Good health
A couple in retirement
Retire early to look after family member, ageing-in-place

4R’s of retirement

There are 4 R’s in retirement. You will have different experiences and financial needs at each stage. 


  • Relax: Work life is like a hamster wheel; you want to get out of the cycle.
  • Recharge: Work drains your energy; you need a break before you start anew.
  • Redeem: You want to do good for the society; or you need to take care of your loved one.
  • Recuperate: You have health problems; you need space and time for recovery.

Trajectory of retirement life

In the situation of a proactive retirement, your retirement life follows a trajectory.

  • In the early stage, if you have no concrete plan, you can take some time to relax and enjoy the boredom.
  • When you have something in mind, you can work on it, but make sure you have set aside a budget.
  • Once you are more or less settled down, you can also explore to enrich your life experiences by taking on more options if budget allows.
  • In the later stage, when your health deteriorates, you may need to spend more time and money on healthcare or nursing care. For this, you would need to prepare another pot of money in advance.

Of course, if you fall into the reactive retirement, it is a completely different script. When your “forced retirement” caught you by surprise, do not panic, we will look into the financing section in the future blog article.



It is important to know your WHY before you step into retirement. Once you are clear about it, then you can make financial plans to fulfill your WHY and secure your retirement life.


In the next blog article, we will talk about the 4 buckets that are essential for retirement planning. Stay tune to find out more if that interests you.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x