As you plan your life in retirement, think about what you will do with your time. While you may have a long to-do list of projects you’ve always wanted to get done around the house, will that be enough to keep you satisfied?
As I help clients estimate how much money they will need in retirement, I ask how they will spend their time. Some anticipate playing golf. Some plan on traveling. Some plan on grandparenting.
When I ask if those things will be enough to keep them satisfied — will they miss work, I often receive two reactions. A perplexed look from someone who never thought about the amount of time they spend at work and with the relationships they have built around work. The second is an immediate “no” from those tired of time and relationships at work.
But as our conversation continues, the person who defines themselves through their work, tend to miss work the most. It’s part of who they are.
Typically, it’s the person at a senior-level or business owner. Usually, the latter person is consumed with due diligence to sell their business they don’t even think about what they will do after it’s sold.
If you’re thinking about retiring and know most of your time and relationships revolve around work, start planning your work-life after retirement. In other words, what will be your occupation after you retire from your current work?
Will you mentor the next generation as they enter the workforce? Becoming active in a professional organization now will help you make the connections to accomplish this goal when you retire.
Will you begin a consulting practice? If you’re perceived as an expert in your industry, then consulting may be a way to spend your work-life after retirement. Begin speaking with others who have gone in this direction to figure out your service offerings and fees.
Will you return to school? Maybe there’s an industry you’re interested in which is different than how you’ve spent your career, but you need additional training. For example, organic farming or photography. Start exploring programs at different colleges to plan for enrollment requirements.
Will you begin a business (or another business)? Maybe your adult child has a great business concept but needs help taking it to the next level. Or maybe you have a business concept you’ve been toying with over the years. In either scenario, evaluate how much personal financial risk you can or are willing to take with a new business.
Will you become philanthropic? List nonprofit organizations that you are passionate about and start finding ways to become active on their committees and eventually Board of Directors.
If you’re still not onboard with defining your work-life after retirement and think you will be fine with your list of things-to-do around the house, then re-evaluate after a year in retirement. It’s your retirement years. There is no right way or wrong way to retire. You can do whatever you want as long as your mental and physical health allows you. Stay PEF (positive, enthused, focused) and enjoy the journey of retirement.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”