What does retirement mean to you?11/09/17
I was recently discussing an imminent retirement with a client, not unusual for us of course, but what did strike me as unusual was how nervous this client was about retiring. At first I thought the nervousness might have been to do with his pensions that we were discussing, but he explained that it was more just ‘retirement itself’. We ended up having a long conversation about the matter. He told me afterwards it had really helped just by talking it through, he had been having these concerns for a while but not spoken about them with anyone, which was lovely to hear. However I think it was me that benefited the most.
It seems to me that retirement means different things to different people. To some retirement is all about financial independence. From this point onward they know that they don’t have to work unless they want to. For others, retirement just means that they don’t have to do that job anymore. I think the latter is how society in general still views retirement, an escape, an end to the daily grind, a release etc.
The reality for this client was that retirement was a huge leap into the unknown. Yes there were lots of questions about money, pensions, investments, risk etc and that’s why he was working with us, but it was much more than that. It was more “what am I going to do now?”.
To suddenly have 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year to do whatever he wanted, but no idea what that actually was. “Who am I now?” It’s commonly reported that our occupations make up a large part of who we think we are. It’s typically one of the first questions when meeting someone at a social event “what do you do?” Unsurprising then that retirement can mean a partial loss of identity, temporarily at least.
It was this client and this conversation that inspired me to start writing this blog. My intention is to produce short helpful notes on retirement and money issues. Clearly doing what I do for a living, a large focus will be on financial matters, but hopefully in a manner sympathetic to the worries and concerns of someone approaching their ‘leap into the unknown’.
If there’s anything in particular you would like me to cover, just click here to open our contact page and send me a message.