Many people find that their view and experience of their retirement may be very different from what they expect. Reality can be a pretty harsh awakener (especially if it’s your retirement).
In the financial part of the equation, you can of course model, plan and adjust assumptions and figures as you head towards the big day and the rest of your life. Of course it takes a high degree of knowledge and skill to get the figures absolutely correct, and with the aid of technology, it is easier to get pretty close, even building in re-runs of the 2008 credit crunch (remember that?).
Even if you have the financial plan in place, it may be that the other side of retirement – LIFE – can all of a sudden, not unfold quite as you had imagined.
Will your retirement be all holidays and lunches at garden centres? Will it be just looking forward to watching your favourite TV show with an eccles cake and a cup of tea at 3.30pm ? Or, could it be full of purpose, full of fun, a brand new start?
Frequently people who had such high expectations for their retirement, find that a year or two in, they have managed to find themselves in a rut of mundaneness (they may even be fulfilling their spouses retirement and not even thinking about their own). They may even look back and wish that they had stayed working and be paid to be bored, rather than sacrifice an income and lack little social interaction.
People just like you are quickly realising that they need to plan their retirement just as they plan their future. That planning is not just about scheduling in a month-long break to Malta each October, but figuring out how each day and week may look for you. What will you do to happily fill the time, and regain your purpose and passions which may well have been put on hold for 50 years (whilst ‘grown up life’ for in the way).
Finding your happy retirement is not just going to be attached to a number – a certain amount of income, especially if all those years lack fun, freedom and a real purpose. You will probably find that the things which bring you the most joy, may not even cost much at all, you just need to find them and not be trapped in a retirement bucket.