Getting Your Mind Right For Retirement
I have plenty of folks coming through my doors who are more than ready to quit their jobs. They’re ready to drop the day-to-day routines of rush hour traffic and 9-to-5 office politics, and leave the office behind.
But while a lot of folks are ready to ditch work, they’re not ready for the mental impact that retirement can have. A lot of retirees find themselves bored and depressed once they’re done with work. On top of that, a lot of folks can’t enjoy their retirement because of fear. Fear that they’ll draw their savings down too fast and run out of money before they run out of time.
So if you’re counting down the days in the office but dreading being home all day, what can help you retire with peace of mind? Three things: a gradual transition, a comprehensive plan, and a trusted financial advisor. But let me confront you with two hard truths about retirement.
A lot of retirees “lived” through their work. They were friends with everyone at the office and their job defined them. But then they retire, and suddenly all their friends and their sense of purpose are absent. With this newfound sense of loneliness, a lot of them feel like they have no reason to leave their house, and like they have nothing to look forward to when they get up in the morning. They hate being retired.
On the other hand, those that plan for their retirement years well in advance of the last workday—by exploring a new career, volunteering, or finding something to keep them busy—they retire with something exciting and promising ahead.
If you’re heading towards retirement and not sure how you’ll fill your days, take steps now to broaden the scope of your social life. Seeing friends and family regularly—interacting with folks of all ages in various settings—may be the thing that makes your retirement more enjoyable.
Our brains are fickle. Our interests can and do change with age. Be ready to respond to this evolution as you settle in to your retirement.
Accept That You’ll Have Financial Anxiety
Whether you quit work having saved $50,000 or $5 million, retirement means your spending strategies are about to be tested, in real time. All that careful planning is ready to come to fruition, but there are always unknowns.
Some folks are scared to spend. They scrimped and saved their whole lives, denying themselves everything they could possibly be tempted to buy with the understanding that they were saving for their future. Once they retire, can they spend? Probably not since they are really “pathological savers”. They fear spending too much too soon.
Here’s where yours truly comes in. With the help of Your Retirement Quarterback we can develop a comprehensive income plan and a safe withdrawal rate. That’s what we call in the office a “decumulation” plan. We’re not sure if “decumulation” is a word—Nick the former editor assures us it isn’t—but we like it anyway. Nothing like taking a little literary license. What the heck.
While no one wants to squander their hard-earned money, retirees should enjoy life! Scrooging away retirement money makes it worthless—why go through the trouble of saving it? While you should always keep an eye out for the future, chances are you won’t burn through your savings as fast as you think you will… unless you have a taste for gambling. The average 80-year-old spends 43% less money than a 50-year-old, so know that you get cheaper as you get older.
If you’re getting ready to retire and you’re scared, we understand, and you should understand that it’s completely natural. Just don’t let your fear ruin what could otherwise be a perfectly happy retirement. Need some help planning everything out? Let my staff know and we’ll match up calendars!