When we think about retirement, most of our attention tends to be about money. Specifically, “do we have enough?”. While money is an essential component, it is meaningless unless you have a clear snapshot of what your retirement is going to look like.
Principal, Wealth Adviser and retirement expert, Damon Sugden, assists his clients to navigate this complex process, for many, their most significant lifestyle adjustment.
We asked him how retirees can protect their well-being and what idyllic aspirations for this stage of life require a rethink.
Don’t overlook the role that work plays
Work can play a crucial role in contributing to our sense of purpose. It gives us something to wake up for, invest our energy into and contributes towards forming a large part of our identity.
Damon explains that it is easy to become disengaged with everyday life, particularly if you have previously held a lot of weight or importance on your work. Retirement does not need to mean an immediate cease of work. Many retirees are continuing to work, not because they have to, but because they love what they do.
Rather than cutting out work completely, a financial adviser can encourage retirees to consider transitioning from full-time work to reduced hours. Experienced advisers are in the unique position to understand future hindrances to wellbeing.
Consider the paradox of leisure
When retirees achieve a baseline level of security and accomplishment with their finances, they are often met with the anxiety of wondering what to do next.
Damon validates that this concern consumes most early conversations with retirees. You spend your life preparing for this magical time, thinking they will be the best days of your life. However, there is only so much leisure time you can enjoy before it blends into regular life.
Termed, the paradox of leisure is the notion that too much leisure time has the potential to negatively affect your sense of fulfilment. Instead, Damon suggests retirees consider what they will do to ensure their new non-working lives still have a purpose. Take trips and catch up with friends but apply a greater meaning to overlay your activities as this will be where you will find the most genuine happiness in the long term.
This meaning can be achieved via volunteering, continuing to work with reduced hours, and mentoring or tutoring new recruits who join your once office. The key is to find the balance between purposeful commitments and pure leisure time.
Remember the PERMA model
An acronym for positivity, engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement, financial advisers may refer to the PERMA model to encourage retirees to think deeply about their lives and wellbeing.
Damon emphasises that well-being and happiness are a mindset, not a destination, that PERMA assists in reaching this conclusion. From first-hand experience, the ability of a trusted adviser to provide a “sleep at night” sentiment, is invaluable. It makes our job very rewarding to have such an emotional impact through our expertise. You can learn more about PERMA in episode 3 of Damon’s Talking About Retirement podcast.
Any life transition is challenging. A strategic retirement plan, developed by a Capital Partners adviser will be a roadmap for achieving future goals both for your financials and wellbeing.