Since the abandonment of the State retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women a few years ago, plus the flexibility of pensions, what does retirement mean now?
Did I, or have I, retired taking into the following facts.
I came out of corporate life 13 years ago to be close to my family and spend time with them
So, I didn’t really retire, as I took a portfolio career working as a Development Director for a compliance and HR company, 3 days a week, whilst I built my own coaching company, 2 days a week
Did I retire when I purely focussed on my own coaching 5 days a week three years ago?
Again, I didn’t really retire, although I wasn’t earning nearly as much, but including drawing some of my pension I was in a similar financial position, enjoying what I was doing
What about when my wife retired at the end of the 2017?
Well, I am being more flexible, allowing more time for the family, volunteering on Mondays and having Fridays off, so we can travel to Bournemouth and Yorkshire more regularly, but I am still working a solid 3-day week
So, when will I be officially retired?
Who knows, but after going through the experience of my Jo retiring I have added retirement coaching to my repertoire, if that is what we can call it!
What does coaching do for me? It gives me a clear sense of purpose, getting a buzz out of meeting and seeing a range of people and companies develop themselves and get a better grip of their lives. I realised early on that I would only get frustrated playing golf and I needed something else which I could enjoy and at the same time earn some money.
What will retirement look like for you?
I believe retirement is probably the biggest transition that any of us make and to start planning for this 3 or 4 years ahead can be a good strategy. I have a retirement questionnaire which I am happy to share with you, for no charge whatsoever, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a copy. The idea of this is just to start the thought process for you and your partner. Are your thoughts aligned? Do you want to do the same things? Will retirement allow you some space, so you can do things as an individual too?
One of the reasons for starting the process early is to see whether you are going to have sufficient funds to do what you want to do. Naturally I don’t get involved with the financial process at all, as I don’t have the expertise. So many people don’t have enough money to enjoy their retirement; just as many people could have retired that much earlier if they had spent some time planning what they wanted to do in their retirement.
I realise this subject is not rocket science but it seems that so many people fall into similar traps and don’t start thinking and planning for retirement early enough. When should you start planning?