What observations have you made watching other people retire? I’ve noticed that an unrecognised obvious to many people, until they’ve actually retired, is that their work had many more qualities which fulfilled them, other than just the money, but they did not appreciate it at the time.
The mistake they made was not seeing that beyond money, work gave them social contact, challenge, creativity, community engagement, purpose, personal growth, routines, autonomy and doing something worthwhile with and for people worth being around.
They were influenced by society to believe that ‘retirement’ (whatever that means) needs to be a cliff edge event. Friday you’re at work or in business; Monday you’re not. When everyone retired at 65 and died 7 years later, that might have been relevant, but not so much now with three decades of active lifestyle to pay for – mostly in good health for many.
In this position, they found themselves unprepared, lacking identity, without challenge, bored, fear of spending money, feeling isolated and with no structure to their days.
What is it about ‘work’ which is most fulfilling to you? How do you define ‘work’? What about this definition: “A way to serve and give value to others in return for feeling fulfilled in life for you”. In which case, ‘work’ could be unpaid?
Is, “Giving value to others to be fulfilled ourselves” something we want to retire from? What are we retiring to?
What if there was a way to ‘retire’ well so that your ‘retirement’ experience gave you the same qualities as the work experiences you most liked and left out the ones you liked least?
There is: it’s called “Return On Life” and is the upgrade to merely the “Return On Investment”.
Successful ‘retirement’ planning tailors your finances to the shape of your Return On Life, put another way, your lifestyle. Purpose led lifestyle financial planning means setting things up so that you have the Return On Life you want. Consider:
- What aspects do you most enjoy about your current work?
- What will you miss least when you leave this work?
- What would your ideal scenario look like after you leave this job or your business?
- Who do you feel a sense of financial responsibility for?
Once we know this, we can have a conversation about what can be done to replace what you may be losing or missing when you retire.
It may mean eventually finding some other kind of work for a few hours a week to fulfil the non-monetary elements (or topping up the bank account as well). It may mean volunteering. It may mean spending more time with a hobby or starting a business. Whatever the outcome, including this discussion in a conversation about ‘retirement’ defines the lifestyle you want which, in turn, defines the shape of the financial planning you need in place and how much is enough for you.
When people work with us, they discover important things about how they want to spend time in retirement in terms of leisure, connecting, personal renewal, and work which hitherto lay hidden but make all the difference when revealed at a conscious level.
To sum up, this conversation helps to engineer a Return On Investment so you have an income that sits on top of rising living costs which outlasts the number of your heartbeats giving the two most important things for all time – dignity and independence.
Not only that, at least as importantly, it gives you a Return On Life to find more meaning and satisfaction in your retirement and later years.
If this approach resonates with you or you would just like to find out more, please let us know or book your “GL Passport” meeting.
If you’re client reading this, if we haven’t yet, this is a conversation we’ll be having with you at the appropriate time.
After all, Life Is Not A Rehearsal.
Retirement is still a perfectly good word, but we need to rein in its usage now that its original meaning is no longer all that relevant because people are living longer, healthier, more active lives. – Mike Drak
Certified Financial Planner™ professional
Chartered Wealth Manager™
Investors should remember that the value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up. This update has been produced for information purposes only and isn’t intended to constitute financial advice; investments referred to may not be suitable for everyone.