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Your Most Important Transition (Retirement)

February 16, 2024

We face many important transitions during our lifetime. Arguably, the most important one of these is the transition from our working life into retirement.

We go from being busy, respected for being an expert in our chosen field, and waking up every day with a purpose to a blank page from which to craft our new life. We go from saving money and building wealth to needing to withdraw from our nest egg.

Sadly, many successful and respected people go on to have unhappy retirements. For those who saved diligently, this is a sad outcome. The key to making a successful transition is to be clear about what you are leaving behind and moving towards.

The Three Key Retirement Questions

In helping many people navigate this once-in-a-lifetime transition from work to retirement, we have identified three key questions to help you transition into a successful retirement. I’ve adapted these three questions from financial expert Mitch Anthony.

With increased longevity leading to longer retirements, this is not a transition you want to make without forethought. Deeply thinking about all three questions will prepare you for the successful and happy retirement you deserve.

Q1: Have you had enough of work?

While you may not have the same drive as before, many successful people have more that they want to contribute to their work environments. It may be possible that you can continue to enjoy the mental stimulation of being involved without working full time. The modern work environment has created flexible work options not open to those of past generations. Remote work, hybrid office structures, part-time consulting, or even mentoring could be a way to remain involved and give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Regardless of this decision, it’s essential that you are emotionally ready to transition away from work as you knew it. Do not underestimate the magnitude of your work’s contribution to your well-being and identity.

In summary, question one is purpose-driven.

Q2: Do you have enough?

It is important to understand what lifestyle your savings are realistically able to sustain. Be mindful of day-to-day expenses, irregular expenses, and possible surprises.

Our process is designed to help you make sense of the complexities behind this simple question: Will I run out of money?

If an initial analysis gives an unexpected answer, consider that even an extra year or two of saving can make a significant difference in these projections. Ensure that you have received a detailed opinion from an expert before you make any irreversible decisions.

In summary, question two is money-driven.

Q3: Do you have enough to do?

This is often the most challenging question to answer for those happily busy for four decades. How will you fill your time?

When you are accustomed to working full days, an empty calendar can be difficult to navigate. Sadly, a two week holiday is not a reflection of what you may want to fill your days with. Those around you may still be in their everyday routines, leaving you with more time than you know what to do with. There are only so many rounds of golf you can play or TV series you can watch before you get bored. We suggest that you think carefully about what your ideal week will look like. Be sure to build in time for family, hobbies, and travel. If there’s too much time unaccounted for, it’s worth reflecting on whether you are ready for this big decision.

Lastly, if you and your partner are not used to being around each other all day, it’s important that you agree on what you will be spending your time on and how you will each retain some independence. As the joke goes, retirement is twice the spouse and half the income.

In summary, question three is lifestyle-driven.

A Happy Retirement Is Hard Work

Rather than being about leaving an old life behind, a successful retirement transition is more about moving intentionally towards a new life.

Carefully considering your, and maybe your spouse’s, answers to the above questions will ensure that you set off on this new journey with enough money, enough to do, and fewer regrets.

While our key focus is to ensure that you have enough money to sustain an independent life, we are committed to assisting you in making a happy and successful transition.