Generally when people talk about planning for retirement, they are referring to a financial plan. This may include thoughts on downsizing, travelling, a seachange or maybe a treechange. Very little thought is given to developing an emotional plan for retirement.

Your identity, friendships and interests are interwoven with your work life and often little attention is given to planning a transition to retirement and what you will do with all the free time you will have. Here are some things to consider to ensure your financial plan delivers on your emotional plan and your retirement provides a lifestyle by design rather than default.

Planning in the ‘on-the-go’ years

Your forties and fifties are usually full-on with work, kids and ageing parents. There is often little time left over for yourself let alone taking time out to plan for a retirement which may be 15 years away. However, this is the time to begin cultivating friendships beyond work and discovering new hobbies and interests that you might like to pursue later on.  Rather than feeling pressured to commit to something, this should be a time of discovery. For example, you might decide that you are curious about art. Rather than going out and buying a bunch of art supplies or signing up for classes, start slowly by attending gallery exhibitions or following some local artists on Instagram. At this busy time of your life, let your interests evolve slowly.  As you explore different things you might find your friendship groups also change to reflect these new shared interests.

Planning for the ‘give-it-a-go’ years

As you near retirement age, start thinking about what form of retirement you would like. Could you reduce your work hours gradually over time or have a few mini-retirements or sabbaticals to get a better feel for what retirement will be like? Do you have a retirement bucket list of things that you would like to do once you retire? There may be things on your list that should be done sooner rather than later while you are still active and in good health like active or adventure holidays. A good idea is to develop a series of 5 to 10 year plans that include your bucket list items. It’s important to speak to your financial adviser to ensure you don’t deplete your assets too quickly. Your financial adviser can help you to build the financial plan necessary to realise your wish list in the early years of your retirement while ensuring you can maintain the lifestyle you want in the later years.

Planning for the ‘go slow’ years

It’s also important to plan for the later years when chronic health conditions and decreased mobility may mean that additional support is required. Have you thought about whether you would prefer to stay in the family home or move somewhere smaller or closer to children and grandchildren? If you are part of a couple, it’s important to think about how you will manage if one of you requires additional care, but the other is still very independent. Your financial adviser can talk to you about your aged care options and how you could fund them.

Having an emotional as well as financial plan for your retirement will help you to prioritise; identify any funding gaps; and allow you to spend on what’s important to you.  Speak to the friendly team at ActonFinancialPlanning about your retirement planning.

call to action2