Consider the lifestyle aspects of retirement planning
By Wouter Fourie
Director of Ascor® Independent Wealth Managers and the Financial Planning Institute, and winner of the FPI Financial Planner of the Year Award 2015/16
“But are you going to have fun? Will you enjoy it?”
These are not always the type of questions that you expect from two specialists in retirement planning, but it is at the heart of Barry Smith and Andrew Blaine’s book The Next Step – Planning the road through retirement.
Andrew and Barry were the guests at a recent FPI Round Table, held at Nedbank’s Menlyn Maine offices in Pretoria. The event is part of a series of regular information sessions arranged by the Financial Planning Institute (FPI) and hosted, in this case, by myself in my capacity as a director of the FPI.
During their talk, Barry and Andrew discussed the other, non-financial, side of retirement and retirement planning. As two retired executives, Barry and Andrew made it their goal to study the art and science of successful lifestyle planning for people that have retired or are on the verge of making the change. They also spend a great deal of time consulting to people in this phase of their lives.
Barry explains that people often, dare we say usually, find themselves on the back foot when the day of retirement finally dawns. They wake up to an empty schedule and often to a life partner who is not used to their constant presence. This can cause anxiety, frustration and rash decisions (financial and otherwise) during this transitional phase.
The retirees who makes the most successful transition, says Barry, are those that prepare themselves both mentally and financially for this move. This includes the often-frustrating task of identifying what makes you happy, what gives your life meaning and what skills and experience you have.
Armed with these insights, which might take several rounds of introspection and discussion with your mate, you can plan for a more productive and enjoyable retirement. Andrew says that many retirees find pleasure in returning, albeit in a part-time basis, to the job market as a consultant or entrepreneur. Others transfer their life experience and insights to disadvantaged and young people as mentors and others make their hobby their real passion, resulting in great enjoyment and possibly even an extra income stream.
The Next Step is an insightful book, written by people on the other side of this major life decision. It Includes methods to guide your introspection, to assist you in making decisions and steps of what to do and to avoid. The book also talks of the many clubs, discount services and other benefits to retirees that many people do not know of.
The book is self-published on the-next-step.co.za and it may prove to be a welcome addition to any older person’s diary. Regardless of whether you get around to reading it, though, keep in mind that you need to plan your lifestyle changes alongside your financial goals for this life stage. And, in the words of Barry and Andrew, make sure to enjoy it!
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