Retirement isn’t a one-off event, but a process of on-going adjustment with six recognised stages:
While still at work in your career, it is hard to imagine retirement. You may have experienced a strong push to leave work and looked forward to having time to yourself. The funny thing is that after you have had the holiday of a lifetime, played golf, gardened, done the DIY, six months to a year later, reaction may kick in and you get
SMS – SOMETHING’S MISSING SYNDROME.
The things that are missing are the very things that work supplied no matter how much you looked forward to retiring.
Amazing how much more achievable a plan seems when you put it down in writing. It helps to refine it down to a single page like the example shown here and to put it somewhere you can see it! Your ideas on Rewirement form the core of your shared retirement plan and now it is the time to add the other elements. You and your partner need to create your plan together and find ways to make it reflect both your needs – this can be challenging as men and women often have different ideas about retirement. If you are single, share your plan with a friend or mentor.
What should your retirement strategy include?
- It is never too late to start. Compile a clearly defined SHARED strategy with goals and a sound budget to achieve these goals. The Pensions Authority website has a helpful budget planner. www.pensionsauthority.ie
- Live within your means and stick to your joint budget. Forget about the Joneses.
The shelves of bookstores are groaning with cookery and diet books preaching different versions of eating and living well. A succession of foods has been nailed as baddies in our diet: fats, carbohydrates, gluten, dairy and sugar, the villain in Jamie Oliver’s campaign against the sweet stuff. It is all very confusing but the truth is that our modern diet, with over-refined processed foods with high fat, salt and sugar contents, is a chief culprit when it comes to being overweight and to conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Funny about money… money matters can cause more rows between couples than anything else. Funny about money… money matters can cause more rows between couples than anything else. Perhaps that’s not because of money itself but what it represents, especially power. Whose money actually is it for a start? Are finances joint finances, or do they belong more to the person who actually does the earning or has the superior earning power.
If ever there was a time to bear in mind Mr Micawber’s observation it’s when you start living on your retirement income. ‘Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.’
When you quit a full time career there is precious little to guide you through the transition to this new stage. Change is the practical external stuff, transition is the inner journey. During transition, you are pulled in two different directions: drawn back to familiar patterns and at the same time trying to strike out in a new direction. We are creatures of habit, developing holding patterns that are hard to extinguish. Think how tricky it is to get accustomed to driving on the other side of the road when overseas.
Rewirement is about realising your dreams and your shared retirement plan for this new life stage. But how do you go about imagining what those dreams might be and before you initiate them, making sure that you have found those that are right for you? It’s a bit like that song from South Pacific. ‘You gotta have a dream, if you haven’t gotta dream, how you goin’ to make that dream come true?’
What exactly does ‘meeting your needs’ mean? In a nutshell it is about recognizing the things that give you a kick, bring satisfaction, or that all too elusive feel-good factor that certain things you do at work or at leisure give you. It’s different for everyone: for a nurse or a human resources manager it might be the need to work with people; for a manager it might be the ability to motivate others; for a writer the ability to harness imagination and words to bring fiction to life.