Your need for a financial adviser will likely not go away once you’re retired. In fact, we work with many retired clients and a few of our recent conversations with them inspired us to share with you what life can be like after retirement. One of these clients has quite recently left work, and the rest began their retirement some time ago. As is true of all people, no two retirees are the same and there’s no right way to feel about retirement or to live your life after you’ve hung up your working hat.
One of our main roles here at Brighton Financial is to help our clients transition from their working lives into retirement, whatever that looks like for them. Of course, money is a very important factor to consider when it comes to thinking about retirement, and it plays a key role in the services we provide our clients. But we all know that money isn’t just bits of paper and metal that we play with as if we’re sitting around a Monopoly board; there is a lot of emotion associated with money, and we know how important it is to respect the way our clients feel about the money they worked so hard to make, save, and invest.
We also understand that retirement can be a daunting prospect for many people. Outwardly, they may be excitedly counting down the days to their freedom or boasting about what they’ll get done with their new-found free time, but we’ve come to learn that inside it’s often a different picture. Retirement can be a little bit scary. Here’s what most of our clients struggle with when it comes time to retire:
- Will I have enough money?
- How will my life change?
- What will I do with my time?
- How long am I going to have?
The list goes on, of course and maybe you have something to add yourself! But no matter how long a client’s list is, we take the time to address all their fears by having open and honest conversations. Over the years, we’ve found that sometimes asking challenging questions can draw out how a person really feels about retirement and that having the opportunity to discuss things with a third party in a relaxed environment can be really useful in confronting and calming those fears and finding suitable solutions.
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “Since I retired, I’ve no idea how I managed to find time to work!” and when we look at most of our retired clients, this certainly rings true. Many of them quite easily transition into retirement and adapt well to the lifestyle change. They find common interests with their partners or friends and share quality time together while carving out time on their own when they feel it’s needed. Most of them strike a very enviable balance, something us working folk often struggle to do in the world of 9-5 and we’ve seen most of our clients adapt to retirement like a fish to water.
That being said, we recently spent some time with another client who was just one month into her retirement and was struggling with all the issues we mentioned above. Just as transitioning to anything can be difficult, she was finding her adjustment to retirement quite hard, especially as her husband is still working and she now has a lot of time on her own. Though she has hobbies, she tends to do them in the same time constraints she maintained when working, and has been finding it difficult to break out of her old routines to establish a new schedule that better suits her now time-rich life.
Fortunately, her grandchildren are helping her fill some of her time, but she knows she needs to get creative with how she uses all the hours in the day. While she’s now very time-rich, she still needs to be thoughtful about her spending, so we’ve been working with her to find ways to have a meaningful life within the constraints of her financial position. Like many people, this woman is taking time to grow into her retirement, and though this process can take a while, it’s incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
Very often, to supplement an income or to fulfil a social need, a retiree may get a part-time job or do some charitable work. The key is that they’re likely to do this not because they have to but because they want to. Remember, with the right consideration and planning, your retirement can be anything you want it to be and some people want that extra pocket change or need an occupational commitment to get out of the house and meet new people.
One of the things we encourage our retired clients (and those who are just thinking about retirement) to consider are the following challenges that may present themselves later in life:
- Helping children and grandchildren
- The cost of care homes or carers
- Possible health issues
- Loved ones getting ill
While they cannot be planned for, per se, they shouldn’t (and generally don’t) stop the clients we work with from living their lives to the fullest and greeting each day with excitement and gratitude. While retirement can be a bit scary, it’s a lot better when you embrace it and accept that it may take some time to get into the groove.
With the right planning and the right attitude, you’ll have the retirement you’ve always dreamt of– the kind that’s fulfilling, engaging and meaningful. Trust us, we see it all the time.