Everything seems to be based around the process of “preparing for death!”. This was my recent comment to family and friends (including my financial adviser), about the concept of my imminent retirement. The reason I say this is, when you are close to the end of your major career path, the preparations need to begin. An exhaustive dichotomy . Questions need to be considered in order to be able to decide, and financially and mentally survive. Decisions seem to focus on when we die.
Questions to consider before retirement:
-What is the average life span in your family i.e. what is the average time of their deaths
-What is your family history with illnesses
-How healthy are you right now and how do you think you could be in the next few years
-How much time do you think you will have left to pursue your passions
-How much money do you think you can live off before you die
-How much money do you spend right now – honestly
-How will you spend your time when you stop work
-What are your plans or do you have any
-How do you think you will feel NOT being part of the workforce
As a single woman, or for that matter, any single older person, there is no back-up person to cover your downfall. You have to survive on your own without that regular chunk of money we so love to see pop up in our bank account each pay day.
We all realise the necessity to pay the bills and the desire to have an enjoyable lifestyle post work. Whether we admit it or not, our work is part of our mental well being. Personally my job has been an important aspect for my mental health. My decision to step off the corporate path and pursue my artistic passions has not been taken lightly. On the flip side, I also realise I am running out of time.
HOWEVER during my recent meeting with my financial adviser he disagreed with my death thoughts and said “retiring is about preparing to live” and explained why. I have changed my approach and ready for the journey. Although I didn’t agree with his idea of “a career change” and
feel it is “a lifestyle change”. Nor do I have the desire to progress up the corporate ladder anymore.
I have begun to adopt a more casual approach to what life has to offer. In order to be in a position to do this I needed to consider some important advice first.
Financial advisors 3 relevant comments
1. The earlier we plan the earlier we are able to make a career/life change. We should begin our preparations when we are young, well and truly before retirement age and not as we get closer to the end of our life. Admittedly I ignored this advice in my twenties and it was difficult as a divorced mother of two! I began my collaboration with the inevitable, approximately 19 years ago.
2. Appreciate the sacrifices. He reminded me I am one of the fortunate single female retirees to be in a position to choose when I left my employment. I prepared earlier than most women it seems. Many of his new clients were in dire circumstances and had been forced into retirement due to sickness, death of a partner or loss of job, with no planning.
3. The psychological aspects as important as the financial. Apart from learning to live on a “cash flow diet” and a different form of re numeration, mindfulness and acceptance of the emotional changes can assist as you go through different phases and will help you deal with the adjustment. Be kind to yourself and don’t rush into taking on the new world too quickly. I began self talk some time ago. Let’s see how I have fared in six months time.
Be ready for your chosen lifestyle
Today things may seem tough for younger women and men but there are opportunities for the taking if you do some research and consider the outcomes. When it comes to the retirement age, and believe me girls, it surfaces quicker than you think, there should be no excuses. Baby Boomers (such as myself) didn’t have compulsory superannuation and started behind the eight ball!!
My advice for single females, even if in a relationship, always maintain your sense of self, know what is happening to your money, make some sacrifices and develop forward thinking (avoidance gets you nowhere). It is nice to have choices in life and you can if you are prepared to make the effort.
By the way, I haven’t formalised my response yet when people ask “so, what do you do for a living?”.