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Do You Fear Retirement? You’re not Alone

retirement: what are you afraid of? Back

Retirement: What are you Afraid of?

What scares you? Maybe it's spiders, vampires or how about not having enough money to retire or worse still, having enough money to retire and being afraid to give up work?

Many people come to see us with variations of the question ‘do I have enough to retire and will I always have enough?’ This is a uniquely personal question and the answer is different for everyone.  But, through a series of meetings you can talk through your concerns and how to make your existing financial assets work for your ideal retirement lifestyle, ultimately helping you stop being afraid to retire.

Who’s afraid of that? Retirement sounds great, but I don’t think I can afford it yet.

You’re not alone in assuming you can’t afford to retire, many people worry they can’t retire and go on slaving away without ever taking time to find out whether they really do have enough, and what that retirement might look like.

Instead you need to switch your thinking and focus on questions such as enough for what? Rather than simply assuming you’ll have to cut-back. So, what does enough look like for you?

When I retire I’m going on a cruise around the world, bungee jumping off the Golden Gate bridge and taking the grandkids to Lapland.

That sounds great. Now we have an idea of what your ‘enough’ looks like we can go away with all your asset details and come up with some plans to see what your ideal retirement lifestyle could be.

Often, we find that when you return to see your completed personal financial plans, your planner has this to say; “Good news. You have enough money to retire, you can hand your notice in tomorrow, we’ve worked it all out here in your financial plan.”

Retire now? No that’s impossible, I can’t. I’m in the middle of a big project training my new recruits, the company needs me, and no one can do my job.

Even when the money problem is solved, many people continue to say no to retirement because ‘money’ isn’t the real issue.

I’d love to give up work, I just can’t yet.

Ok, let’s look at this in a bit more detail now the ‘money barrier’ has been removed. What else is stopping you, what are you afraid of giving up?

I’m not afraid, maybe I can just work part time.

Compromising with yourself isn’t the answer.

Really, I was thinking this was a good way to get around the issue?

You’ll just end up doing five days’ work in three days for less money, will be more stressed and working out of hours for free. Instead what we need to do is go through all the negative reasons that make you want to give up work, and all the positive reasons that make you want to stay. Often, what we think is a ‘money’ thing is just a disguise for a number of other reasons.

I’m not convinced, what reasons?

Well, how about your relationships at work? There may be some that are negative and make you want to leave, but equally work tends to be a social hub where we enjoy time with workmates.

That’s true, I do have a laugh at work.

So, we then look at ways to get that social hub outside of a work environment. Find a new hobby or join a club you’re interested in to fill this potential void. Another issue that falls under the disguise of money tends to be professional identity and career ladder vertigo.

What’s career ladder vertigo?

This happens when you’ve spent years working hard to get to a certain level and find it difficult to give up the experience and development you’ve gained. This feeds into professional identity and your sense of individuality being wrapped up in your job role.

You might have a point and now that I think about it, when I meet new people one of the first things they ask is what I do for a living.

Exactly, a lot of our identity is wrapped up in what we do, so it’s no surprise giving that up is very difficult. It feels as if we’re giving up everything we’ve worked many years for.

Essentially, you’re not just giving up the money, it can feel like you’re giving up a sense of achievement, fulfilment, routine and a whole host of other things you think of as your sense of identity. Just stopping work isn’t about giving up a job.

Ok I can see myself in some of those, so how do we get past this then?

You need to remove the boundaries and allow yourself to get the retirement you deserve through finding ways to get those positives, such as a sense of fulfilment, achievement, purpose and professional identity, from other sources that aren’t work.

What hobbies, or activities could you take up to fulfil the things you’re losing from your job? If you open your mind, you could remove any sense of loss by using your skills in some other way.

So, I could do anything I want to fulfill the things I’m losing from work, for instance, I could teach, join a club or start a new hobby?

Exactly, it’s simply about asking how you find the things you enjoy outside of work. Retirement is a time to enjoy the things you really want to do in life.

Retirement here I come!

As pension and retirement specialists, we are trusted by many hard-working people in the North East. Plus, as a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and with the additional permissions and pension transfer gold standard for advice on defined benefit/final salary pension transfers, we are ideally positioned to help local people get the retirement lifestyle they deserve.

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