Most people look forward to retiring one day. We see it as a well-earned rest after a busy working life with an added injection of freedom to do what we want when we want. But the reality can be quite stressful for many retirees, especially those who have had busy jobs with multiple projects, deadlines to manage and family commitments to juggle as well.
After the Honeymoon Period
After the initial honeymoon period of rest and relaxation, reality usually kicks in. We no longer have the security, challenge and respect that our previous life provided. We spend more time with our spouse than we ever have done in the past. This could lead to friction as we get under each other’s feet and become obsessed with the details of everyday minutia. We obsess about time because we have been used to having to get things done on time. Now, time is not as important but we just can’t let go. We spend too long pondering, pontificating and wandering around wondering what to do next.
Post Retirement Syndrome and Retired Husband Syndrome
There have been numerous badges given to the symptoms often associated with retirement. Feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, irritability are common indicators. The psychology is largely due to a sudden change and the feeling of a vast expanse of time that lies ahead. But fear not, prevention or cure can be relatively straightforward.
- Make your life rewarding, fill it with interests and passions.
- Create a schedule that inspires you.
- Break new boundaries – study, work, set up a business, write, read.
- Travel, take up new hobbies, meet new people and lead a rich and fulfilling life.
- Keep your body and brain active.
The Philosopher Rabbi Abraham Heschel once said
“May I suggest that man’s potential for growth is much greater than we are willing to admit and that old age be regarded not as the age of stagnation but as the age of opportunities for growth. They are formative years, rich in possibilities…”
With life expectancies rising, it is even more important to recognise the importance that your retirement could last as long as your “working” life. The term “working life” in itself is misleading as so many people achieve so much in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Peter Roget didn’t even start working on his thesaurus until he was 61. Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried fame made his first million at 74 and Dame Judi Dench starred in her first film after turning 60.
Money is the Tool
It all sounds easy, until you realise that freedom comes at a price. A well-structured retirement is possible to do on a budget but much easier and more rewarding to do with full coffers. The best things in life are allegedly free, but it is money that will give you the true freedom to reach your true potential when it comes to lifestyle in retirement. Taking a gap year at 60 to travel the world might be just the tonic, but without the funds you might have to settle for a long weekend in Blackpool.
Get it right now
Start planning now. Your retirement could be a long and rewarding period of your life. Take the time to think about it now and discuss it with a Financial Advisor. By thinking strategically and planning carefully you will be able to maximise on your potential in retirement. It’s never to soon to start planning but we find that 35 to 55 year-olds is the demographic most likely to seek help with saving for retirement. The later you leave it the less flexibility you will have, of course.
Perfect your A.R.T.
By now you may be wondering what your retirement will look like. Here’s an acronym that might help you think about how you could plan a rewarding retirement:
Activity: What will you do? What would you like to do?
Relationships: How will you manage spending more time with your spouse and not seeing work colleagues anymore?
Time: What will your weekly “calendar” look like?
Understanding these issues, we work with people in their 40’s and 50’s to help them explore what they want from their retirement. Using sophisticated financial modelling tools, we explore various scenarios and permutations, including retirement dates, lifestyle, rate of inflation and growth of assets. Doing this gives our clients the clarity they need to make informed decisions, to give them the most rewarding retirement possible.
If you would like to discuss this with me, please drop me an email and I will be happy to arrange a phone call or meeting. Thanks for reading.
Categorised in: Retirement planning
This post was written by Huw Johns