Hello, Hello – What are you retiring to?

The psychology of retirement part 3

Have you planned what you will do with your time after you retire?JL

While it’s perfectly fine to take a few weeks or even a few months to decompress after a long work career, ultimately you need to have a good idea of what you’re going to do with all this leisure time you will have on your hands.

Ideally, your life should include a balance of activities that will include physical activity, mental stimulation, a social life and fulfilment.

In other words, you shouldn’t just think about what you are going to retire from, you need to have a good idea what you’re going to retire to

How will your view of yourself change after you retire?  Will you miss your job title?  Will you miss the sense of purpose and fulfilment that comes from doing your job?

One of the best ways to feel good about being retired is to know that your sense of worth and purpose doesn’t have to depend on your job function.  It’s up to you to figure out what pursuits will bring you happiness and fulfilment from now on.

Retirement offers you the enviable opportunity to design your life to be the way you want it!

What will your new life look like?  What do you think your new daily routine will become?

In Part 1 I talked about Alan. After much discussion and thought, Alan took early retirement in 2013, 4 year’s early.

Alan and I talk regularly, and I asked him about his retirement choices and how he feels now he is a ‘man of leisure’. Alan tells me that he feels like he’s busier now than he was while he was working!  And for most of his life as a business executive, he kept a pretty full schedule.  But now he’s busy with the things he wants to be busy with, and in most cases there is little or no consequence if he doesn’t get everything on his to-do list done by a certain time.  He’s much more in control; it is busyness of his choosing.

retire-3It’s true that you will be able to spend your days at a more relaxed pace and you’ll have considerably more flexibility in terms of what you do each day.  But you need to have a fairly good idea of what you are going to do.  Otherwise, your retirement will be filled with inertia and boredom, ultimately leading to more rapid decline.

If you are having trouble answering these questions in a clear, specific way, or if you haven’t thought about them until now, the time could be right to see a financial planner who can give you a snapshot of what the future may look like and help you plan for it. To quote John L Beckley “most people don’t plan to fail: they fail to plan”

But if you have a clear picture of how this wonderful new chapter of your life will unfold, if you and your spouse are in agreement on most issues, and if you’re confident that you will have the financial resources to enable you to enjoy your new lifestyle, then you should go and do it!

This is the third of three articles on the psychology of retirement. Part 1 examined the emotional aspects. To view this article please click here.

Part 2 considered the financial aspects. To view this article please click here.

At Holland Hahn & Wills we deal with these issues daily. If you’d like more information on our services please feel free to contact me on 020 8943 9229, or via email at jason.lurie@hhw-uk.com.

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