Have you started preparing for retirement yet? If you’re nearing this milestone you may have contemplated whether your pension will be enough and how you’ll create an income. It’s often the financial side of retirement that people focus on says Frances Boiling, Chartered Financial Planner at Pembroke Financial Services.
It’s understandable why. Retirement is a big change to your income. But the lifestyle and emotional aspect of retirement are just as important, yet often overlooked. Not preparing emotionally can mean you miss out on opportunities to get the most out of the next stage of your life and don’t enjoy it as much as you could.
Why retirement can be an emotional challenge
Frances commented: “Retirement is a big step to take. It’s one we’ve often been looking forward to, how often have you thought ‘I wish I could give up work now’?
“Looking forward to the next chapter of your life is a good thing, but it can mean retirement becomes a dream where everything is perfect. Once the initial excitement wears off, some retirees can find the loss of a routine and focus that work provides can lead to retirement blues or that it simply fails to live up to expectations.”
As retirement draws near, you’ll take steps to prepare an income, thinking about where you’ll live and what your expenses will be. You may also have planned experiences to celebrate the milestone, perhaps travelling or undertaking a renovation project on your home. But you may not have thought about the day-to-day. How will you fill your time?
“Retirement has a lot to offer and it’s a chance to indulge your interests. With some planning outside of the financial aspect, it can live up to your expectations,” Frances added.
5 steps to improve emotional wellbeing in retirement
1. Think about the things you enjoy
When working takes up much of your time, some of the things that you enjoy can get left out. Thinking about some of the missed opportunities, such as the times you’d like to have indulged in a hobby, can help you fill your time in retirement and improve your sense of wellbeing.
2. Find something you can focus on
If work provides drive in your life, switching to a retirement lifestyle can be difficult. Picking something that you can focus your energy on and work to improve can help fill the gap. More retirees today are taking a flexible approach to retirement, launching businesses and consulting once they’ve given up a traditional job. Alternatively, you may plan to get involved with charity work, help raise grandchildren or pen that book you’ve always wanted to write.
3. Keep up with social activities
Isolation and loneliness can harm our emotional wellbeing, and it can be easy to slowly lose social activities when you stop working. Your workplace may have played an important role in your social life, from a quick chat on your lunch break to going for a drink together after work. Spending time with family, friends or old colleagues comes with plenty of benefits. Retirement is also the perfect time to meet new people who you share an interest with.
4. Be open to trying new things
With more time on your hands, don’t get stuck in a routine but try new things too. Taking a class you’ve always been interested in is a great way to learn new things, meet people and break from the day-to-day norm, for example. Heading to new places to take advantage of your new-found freedoms is an option too, whether you explore more of your local area or head further afield.
5. Remember, doing nothing is fine
Going from a work environment to having more free time can make it challenging to just relax. If you’re used to having a packed schedule, you may feel guilty about doing nothing at all. Whether you want to go for a leisurely stroll, spend all day buried in a book, or just watch the world go by, taking some time to yourself is fine. You don’t always have to be productive. Having more time to relax is something you may have looked forward to before retirement, but it can still be difficult to change your mindset.
Financial planning isn’t just about your pensions
Frances continued: “It’s a common misconception that financial planning means going over your pensions, investments and savings. And that is an important part of it, after all, you want to understand your assets and how to get the most out of them.
“However, financial planning starts with you, not your assets.
We know that what you can do and achieve with your pension is far more important to you than its value. Preparing for retirement with a financial planner means thinking about what you want to achieve, how you want to spend your time and what your priorities are. The financial side comes afterwards when we help you create a long-term that show how you can use your assets to tick off those goals and improve wellbeing.”
Please get in touch if you’re planning for retirement and would like to arrange a meeting.
Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.
A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.
The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation which are subject to change in the future.