When we look at it, our idea of retirement can be idealized. We picture ourselves waking up in rooms golden with sunlight, proud smiles on our faces, the cleanest air in our lungs. We know there will be no boring meetings to attend today, no clients to reassure or appease. The day will belong to us. Or so we think.
Many seniors who retire don’t feel this way at all. There is a certain amount of fright when it comes to retiring. You’ve spent your whole life working to build a nice life and save for this very day. While you might not have enjoyed working for many years, by the end, you’ve come into a rhythm and gotten to a place in your career you might appreciate. There are no big surprises anymore, at least nothing you couldn’t anticipate and handle. Maybe, being fairly senior in the company, you could even take off early on Fridays and enjoy a round of golf. And, of course, a steady income is always reassuring, a comfort like no other.
Now retirement is asking them to turn off their lifelines — their salaries — and start living on what they have saved. For some, it can feel as if they’ve entered a sealed room and are being left to calculate which will run out first, their air or their money. A harsh thought. perhaps, but the future can seem nearly as scary to people inching closer to retirement.
This picture for seniors may seem surprising since, as a society, we’ve made retirement seem like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, after working with many clients who are making the change from generating regular income to one which requires they manage their resources shrewdly, we can tell you that this big step can sometimes result in hours of anxiety and many sleepless nights.
Why is that? Well the answer is simple: We are never quite sure what’s going to happen next month or next year. It’s impossible ever to feel certain that what we’ve managed to save and accumulate over the years will last us the rest of our lives. We have no way of truly knowing if it will be enough to live the life we want. Soon to be retirees have pictures of eating stale bread because they ran through their money too quickly. This is a legitimate concern. Nothing of importance has ever happened exactly the way we anticipated. Why would that change now?
For all these reasons, it is absolutely vital that throughout your retirement you regularly assess your financial situation, anticipate possible problems both large and small, and remain flexible in your planning and expectations. Being able to dodge and weave through the many lurking potholes of your final years is your best way of achieving the retirement you want.
Another reason soon to be retirees might build anxiety about retirement is more psychological than tactical. They fear the boredom that could lead to ailing health. The weekend can lose meaning and we can find ourselves with not much to do. Our kids don’t have time for us. There is only so much golf or pickleball you can play. Then you have your friend, Joe, who keeps telling you he will never stop working because his boss died three hours after he retired.
Keeping busy is something we absolutely should do in retirement. Often, clients take up part-time jobs, consulting, or volunteer work a few years after retiring. They’ve had their break and now they want a routine with flexibility.
Retirement looks different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way. Truly, having a good support team is a necessity for a successful retirement, especially in times like these. A financial advisor is one of the best resources you can use to make sure you are not going to run out of money too quickly after you’ve hung up your working hat for good. You need to make the transition into retirement with commitment, confidence, and manage the years that follow the same way. How else can you really enjoy your golden years?
We here at One Vision Retirement are happy to help, no matter what stage of retirement you are in. Think about booking a meeting with us. Second opinions are always available without obligation. Retirement can be one of the scariest times of your life, but you don’t have to face it alone.