Has lockdown got you thinking about your retirement?
If lockdown has given you a sneak preview of what your retirement might be like, it’s time to think again.
The choices you make now can give you so many more choices when you retire, so that it’s not like Groundhog Day.
Don’t waste this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to understand what you really want from the rest of your life.
We are all emerging from lockdown in our own way and at different speeds. Some will have returned to something like normal a while ago, others are taking their first small steps whilst key workers have never been away, playing an essential role in keeping the country going for which the rest of us are enormously grateful.
We’re all in the same storm, but in different boats
Our individual exits from lockdown are a continuation of our very individual experiences during the last few months. The pandemic has affected all of us but in so many different ways; health, financial, career, study, travel, relationships. I doubt that there are many who don’t have a story to tell about plans they had made that they’ve had to cancel or change.
We have all been dragged unwillingly through a giant sociological experiment that would never have been possible without something as gigantic as Covid-19. What would happen if we just stopped? If we took away everything that normally made us get up every morning and run around until we went back to sleep again?
The gift of time
We have all been handed the gift of time to think about the contrast between our lives before, during and now post lockdown. For some, the lessons have come easily. They have loved the time they have spent at home with family and are keen to preserve as much of that as possible by working from home or changing career. For others it has been the opposite and they now realise how much they miss the challenge and social interaction of their workplace.
Has lockdown got you thinking about what your retirement might look like?
A week or so ago, a client called to say that the experience of being confined at home with little to occupy him has shown him what an underfunded retirement might feel like. He’s realised that he doesn’t want his retirement to feel like he’s on permanent lockdown, so he’s vowed to ensure that when he stops working, it will be with enough to enable him to pursue a variety of interests and leisure options that give him real joy.
What have you missed?
Lockdown took many things we take for granted away from us. Which of those have you really missed? Which of those did you think you would miss but actually turned out to be a habit that you could do without (decaf grande latte with sprinkles, anyone)?
What really makes you happy?
As Financial Planners we are always trying to help our clients use their money to make the best of their lives. We often find that the hardest part of this task is not the money but working with them to help them discover what they actually want to do with it. How many of us take the time to really understand what would make us happy, and how different that might be from what we normally strive to achieve every day?
For all the harm and misery this pandemic has inflicted, let’s not waste the opportunity it has given us all to really understand what we want to do with the rest of our lives.
If you haven’t already made a note of at least one major change then, before that big wheel starts turning at full speed again, take a moment to reflect on your unique Covid experience and what it has taught you about who you are and what is most important to you.
Let’s all hope that this is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to understand ourselves better.
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Your retirement should be about enjoying the freedom to live your life as you really want.
Act now, and it needn’t be some kind of permanent lockdown.