By: Melanie Hasty-Grant | Category: Financial Services | Issue: September 2014
Gary at his retirement party at Nordam!
My retirees aren’t sitting around in their rocking chairs! The retirement bucket lists of today are full of the hopes and dreams that have finally come to fruition. Through sacrificing, saving, and careful planning and investing these folks have reached their goals and are reaping the benefits. From restoring old cars and Cushmans, to living at the lake, traveling to dreamt-about locations like Alaska and Canada, picnicking with grandchildren, loving on pets who are like children, judging rodeos, starting their own businesses, going to bowl games, and moving to really cool golfing and retirement communities, they are busier than ever checking off that bucket list. In fact, most of the time when I call them about scheduling a meeting to go over their investments, it is difficult for them to find time. They often tell me, “I’m not sure how I ever found time to work.” Nothing makes me happier than seeing them get to do what we had planned for over the last years of their work life. They deserve it.
But, this whole retiring thing is not easy sometimes. It is definitely a process! Of course, the primary goal that I assist clients with at this point in my career is the money goal. We do a complete financial assessment.
One of the biggest questions that pre-retirees have is, “Will I have enough money to last throughout my retirement?” Working with a trusted financial professional can help you to determine if the savings you have will be enough or if you need to be saving more. It matters who you trust and who you work with. This is usually a lifetime relationship, and it needs to be with someone that you work well with and that will spend the time needed to make your financial life successful. During the planning phase, we help clients create a debt reduction plan, a retirement savings plan, and an income plan to replace their salary. However, in addition to adjustments and planning regarding your money, there are also other psychological and emotional challenges. This is where the counselor in me takes over. One of the issues soon-to-be retirees face is redefining their identity. Who am I if not for my job title or company position? Developing a “you are more than what you do” attitude helps to make this change. Think of how you might transfer skills of your current job into hobbies, volunteerism, or a part-time job.
Another common but related issue is finding a purpose for your life. It’s important to not just be retiring from something, but also to something.One idea to help you develop a new purpose is to develop a bucket list of 100 things or more you would like to do during your retirement. New goals and dreams are important during this time to provide purpose and stability of identity. Develop a sense for how you will create meaning in your life.
Think about how you want to spend your time. There is a lot more freedom of time when retired. Retirees often fantasize about having so much free time to do hobbies, etc. Initially, the fantasy becomes reality and it feels exactly as they had envisioned. They are golfing or fishing every day and having a great time. However, eventually having a routine helps to normalize the transition. We encourage clients to start “practicing” being retired. Start doing some of the things on a daily basis that you plan to do in retirement.
Finally, be proactive about potential changes in relationships. Often there are changes in relationships between spouses, children, and grandchildren. For spouses, often spending 24/7 together is more than challenging. If one spouse has always been at home, there can be “turf wars” about who is in charge of what. Also, not having the social time with co-workers in the break room is a change. If you are used to having a lot of your social interaction needs met at work, then this can be difficult. We encourage clients to be proactive in addressing changes in relationships and expectations. I hope you find this information helpful in preparing for this wonderful time in your life. Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management. Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.
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