Retirement and Future Life Planning

Why Do We Need to Think About Retirement Planning?

We meticulously plan so many aspects of our lives.  From an early age the perennial question – what do I want to be when I grow up?  Then there is the planning that marks the transition from  school to University, further education or work; longer term  career planning; the detail that is involved in organising the ‘big ticket’ events in life – birthdays and celebrations, holidays.  And right now – what will we do when lockdown finally ends? 

And yet one area of our lives that is often significantly under planned is what happens when you quit your job – or when your job quits you?  As the concept of traditional retirement rapidly evolves, something we should all give a bit more thought to – but so often do not – is what our lives might look like once we move on to the next phase, whenever that might be. 

And as so many of us are doing a great deal of self-reflection right now, this question might be on our minds more than it ever has been.  

Retirement is Changing

Many of us are considering our ‘retirement’  – or next phase of life options – at a far earlier stage than previous generations, especially as it’s likely there might be gap between when we finish conventional employment and when pensions, (state or otherwise),  kick in.  It may be an enforced situation – e.g. redundancy, or driven by health or family issues; or quite possibly in the current climate, a growing realisation that life in the corporate world is no longer where you want to be. 

What Is Holding You Back From Putting a Plan in Place?

Whatever the reason,  the reality is that having made the decision to change direction or retire, many are blind-sided by the question ‘Now What?’  Lack of planning can leave a huge gap between the world that was, and the reality that is looming and the consequent issues can include boredom, loneliness, ill health, loss of purpose and direction and sometimes financial hardship.

So it makes sense to start thinking about what your future life might look like in advance and not be caught napping. That way, you have the time to mentally acclimatize and put practical steps in place.   You can consider whether you still want or need to work and if so, in what capacity? Part time? Consultancy? Do you want to change tack completely and re-train? Or would you like to find some form of employment that simply provides company and a supplementary form of income?

How Will You Fill Your Time?

This is something many of us are finding challenging right now, so what happens if this is a permanent new reality not a temporary one? What are your interests and passions?  Are charity work or volunteering on your agenda? What about travel (yes – it will happen again!), time with family and friends? You might have already started writing a bucket list of things you want to do once lockdown is over and this could be a great first step to creating a pathway to all the things you really want to accomplish.

 In my experience, it’s those with a sense of purpose that make the most successful transition. Some people are convinced that they just want to potter at home, then find that they are bored senseless and have to return to work; others had grand plans and find that they were far too ambitious. But undoubtedly the happiest and most fulfilled are those who have thought about the change, embrace the opportunities and challenges and view pre-retirement with a sense of curiosity about what might be possible.

Taking That First Step

So if this period of isolation is causing you to reflect and think beyond to a time when you aren’t in formal employment and you’d like some help planning this, get in touch for an initial no strings conversation.  In the first instance, I can send you my Getting Started questionnaire to help you make the first steps to planning a successful transition to retirement.  Making that first step can often be the hardest one, so why not contact me to explore what might be possible?  liz@lizwattcoaching.co.uk

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