There is much to be said about a purposeful, structured approach to retirement. Supporting families to achieve their post-work dreams has given us a rare insight into what it takes to flourish during this stage of life. Our advice has been echoed best by none other than non-executive director and co-founder Chris King. Now retired, Chris is practising what he preached, enjoying a carefully planned retirement with a healthy mix of purposeful responsibility and leisure.
We asked Chris to shed some insight into how he is living his best post-work life.
Be clear about how you will spend your time
Chris has always been very clear about his transition to retirement. Instead of cutting work out completely, he adopted the structured, gradual approach.
“There have been many benefits of gradual transition both for Capital Partners as a business and my personal life. Having seen the upside and the benefits of forward planning through my clients, it made sense to give as much notice as possible. Giving five years’ notice enabled my team and the greater business to plan appropriately and consider everything that could happen. From a personal point of view, I practice what I preach to our clients, to work out what your ideal life looks like and plan for that. I was clear about what I wanted to spend more time doing and the factors that needed to be considered to achieve that. I was purposeful to the extent that I had a clear timeline in my mind and followed it. The result has been a very smooth and successful transition”.
Preparation will limit surprises
It is not unusual for retirees to find it challenging to feel purposeful once they step back from full-time work. Despite his new free time, Chris attributes his preparation to helping him to feel engaged and motivated. We asked Chris if anything about his transition took him by surprise.
“From a business perspective, nothing took me by surprise. Even though I was passing over a great deal of responsibility, I had, and continue to have confidence in the team. Personally, I have had the opportunity to caddy for a young amateur golfer, which has seen me travelling interstate and overseas since March. There has been a nice balance between being engaged with something I enjoy and being able to spend time with the people who are important to me”.
Staying healthy: physically and mentally
Exercising your mind and body becomes even more important as we age. Chris explains that he understands the need to stay engaged in various activities for his mental health. This awareness ensures he continues to invest his energy into the areas which will contribute most to his sense of fulfilment.
“I have always enjoyed exercising. I play golf a few times weekly, go to the gym and ride with my friends. I maintain my mental engagement through my involvement on the Capital Partners board, and a focus of mine has been mentoring Capital Partners’ young professionals. I know that it is important to stay engaged in one or more things, which helps me put my energy into those areas”.
Three is the magic number, but the earlier, the better
We know that many influential factors contribute to building a successful retirement plan. Chris emphasises the need for pre-retirees to plan early.
“Begin the planning no less than three years out. This is especially important if you are a business owner or director to ensure the business’s succession and assist you in beginning to plan for life post-work. Start with a clear self-awareness of what you want your ideal life to look like. It is important you understand your financial position, given that your dominant source of income will change. My view has always been that when you are clear about where you are going and have a plan to get there, it gives you a higher probability of achieving those outcomes”.
Enjoying the freedom of choice
Retirement is an opportunity to do all the things you have always wanted to do, ticking off the items left on your bucket list. We asked Chris what he is enjoying most about his new stage of life.
“Two things that clearly come to mind is having the freedom to do what I want, when I want, within the reality of my responsibilities and role as a husband and father. I enjoy the freedom to choose what I am doing and who I spend my time with”.
Chris explains that enjoying life with less responsibility has felt amazing. “Being in a position where I can live my ideal life with less responsibility has been like a weight off my shoulders”.
Your carefully planned, strategic approach to retirement will do wonders in helping you to maintain your well-being and celebrate your new stage of life. Chris’ attitude to retirement planning mirrors the beliefs of the whole team at Capital Partners. We work with our clients to have the conversations that matter at the right time. It is never too early to start retirement planning. Regardless of your life stage, with a carefully tailored plan, you can rest assured that you are in the right hands.