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Why it’s important to prepare emotionally for retirement



Imagine investing 40 years of hard work into your career and to finish it with a celebration that involves a bottle of champagne and a Zoom call with your colleagues.

 

The reality is that retiring in the midst of the coronavirus crisis was one of last year’s biggest trends. For some people the timing has been coincidental, for others, the lockdown has encouraged them to bring their retirement plans forward.

 

This of course can be hugely exciting. With or without the pandemic, reaching this milestone is a huge event. But there are a number of issues to consider as you approach the transition, no matter when you choose to retire.

 

That’s because, although we put a lot of planning into the lead up to retirement, we often don’t think in as much detail about the aftermath itself, and many people find the most challenging part of retirement is what happens next.

 

There are many reasons for this, but a large part of it may come down to how much our career shapes our identities and gives us a purpose.

 

As soon as we retire, it can often feel like having to start from scratch again. Yes, you may have spent the last 40 years of your life being incredibly successful in your career, but now you have to be something else. Something that gives you an equal sense of direction, meaning and fulfilment. And that’s not easy to find at the drop of a hat.

 

For many people this can come as a huge shock. It’s no wonder a segment of retirees precariously straddle between elation and despair in retirement. 

 

In fact, approximately 22% of men and 28% of women over the age of 65 suffer from depression*. The reality is that when we retire, we have a massive void to fill.

 

We need purpose and a plan. And not just a financial one. It’s just as important to prepare emotionally for retirement as it is financially.

 

Here are our top tips for getting started:

 

Prepare in advance: Such a big life change won’t fall into place overnight, the longer you think about it beforehand the better. Ask yourself what goals you want to achieve in retirement, what interests have you always wanted to pursue. If you’re struggling with developing a purpose, think of your passions first: what makes you want to get out of bed in the morning? For example, it might be helping others in need, learning something new or spending time with family?

 

Make it seem real: Make a note of steps you need to take to achieve your new goals or hobbies. Visualise what retirement might look like by creating a vision board with a collection of inspiring images. Put it somewhere you can see it every day - this will increase the likelihood of these things coming true.

 

Create a routine: Continuing to get up, eat and sleep at roughly the same time can help with the feeling of purpose. When you get closer to retirement, think about what life looks like on a day-to-day basis and plan what you’re going to do during the first few months and weeks.

 

Re-evaluate your social circle: Social connection is of course important for mental health. Think about how you can fill the void where your colleagues used to be. Just because you are retiring doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with them. Why not make arrangements for regular catch-ups – even if for now it’s via Zoom or Skype?

 

Keep physically active: Fresh air and exercise is an instant mood booster and is something you can easily build into your retirement routine. The government advises us to take at least 150 minutes of 'moderate-intensity activity each week' such as brisk walking, swimming, or bike riding. Or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity if you are already active.

As financial planners, it’s our responsibility to guide you towards the decisions that will support you financially, but we’re interested in your wellbeing too. Ultimately, we want you to enjoy your retirement and feel the benefits of all those years of hard work.

This is especially important given that we are all generally living a lot longer these days. Once we’ve reached 65, we’ve potentially got 30 years of retirement. That’s a lot of time to fill!

From your current financial situation to your personal aspirations, we’ll take into account all aspects your life, to help you create a road map for you to follow towards retirement – and that supports you beyond.

Contact us to find out more.


*Source: Mental Health Foundation

Imagine investing 40 years of hard work into your career and to finish it with a celebration that involves a bottle of champagne and a Zoom call with your colleagues.

 

The reality is that retiring in the midst of the coronavirus crisis was one of last year’s biggest trends. For some people the timing has been coincidental, for others, the lockdown has encouraged them to bring their retirement plans forward.

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