We all have experienced “Life Changer” Transitions in our lives :-
- Getting our first full-time job
- Getting married
- Having children
- Moving to a new place
But the BIG one is Retirement.
This is it……….. no other transition in life carries the weight of retirement. All the others can be adjusted if needs be – i.e. there’s time. Not so with Retirement. It is not easy to “rewind” and fix your mistakes. It’s a “cause to pause” … and deep-think. A time to get it right. The more we discuss, and explore, and seek opinions etc, the more we should be able to handle this Transition satisfactorily.
Olderhood strives to be part of your information search. We hope you enjoy.
Volume 1 – Money
If you’ve never kept track of your money before now, you’re in for a shock.
I know a man who retired about 6 years ago. He has done well in his life, doesn’t own property, lives a reasonable, but meagre, lifestyle. He and his wife take good vacations at least twice a year.
“So, Geoffrey”, I asked, “do you know what is in your bank account, or pension fund, or investment portfolio…?”
“I don’t have a clue” he replied.
“So, do you ever fear you might run out one day…?”
I wish I could be like this fellow. I’m not.
I’m not paranoid about money, but I’m one station before it.
I recently read some research about asking retirees what their biggest concern was. Health was certainly at the top of the list, but the results indicated that their feelings about Health are dictated by the “It is, what it is” syndrome. Fair enough.
With that out of the way therefore, Money was by far and away the primary concern.
The Transition from having a regular weekly/monthly wage coming in, to a no-wage income lifestyle is extremely difficult for most people. Of course, the pension income is the safety net, either your company pension or some form of state pension. However, the feeling is that, there may very well be a “run-out” problem in later years. If the pensions are structure properly of course, this, by and large, should not be an issue – but the research indicated that many people nonetheless have the fear of running out.
The underlying issue is that if it does run out, there is no way back. You’re stuck.
There are any number of online calculators to tell you “How much you will need in retirement”, and in fairness they mean well. However, they must only be used as a rough indication. Please never base your budgeting and cash flow calculations on them. Everyone has certain unique elements to their lifestyle finances. Moreover, as age creeps along, there may very well be a medical situation arising which knocks the calculations off.
There is also the issue of leaving the inheritance for the kids. Nothing wrong with that, provided you don’t deprive yourself of the basics in life, and even better, some of the indulgences. Just remember, they may be grateful, but on the day they get your money, you won’t be around to hear their thanks !!
Back to budgeting and keeping track.
It is an essential part of retirement living to have a good handle on your finances. You don’t have to be a spreadsheet whizz, but some form of control, on at least a monthly basis, will serve you well. In a later Series, we will address the mechanics of setting up Spreadsheet Budgeting for you.
Never underestimate the impact on your life if you have this fear of having no money. It is real. It is a 24/7 worry. It is a health impactor. Everything you can do to alleviate the concern through proper budgeting, finding part-time work, re-positioning your investment portfolio etc., should be given consideration. The anxiety and stress caused by diminishing cash flows, without any means of fixing, must not be ignored. Face it head on and be assure that you are not alone.
Lastly, the issue of Money will underpin, many, if not all, of the future articles in this Transitions Series, so we will keep coming back to Money Matters as we proceed.
“The past cannot be changed.
The future is yet in your power.
Hugh White, Author
Next week – Transitions Issue 2 – Filling the Day