It is over 20 years since I began to see a trend among my financial planning clients, although small to begin with as time passed more and more were seeking to work longer. Some out of need, but most because they wanted to. It was at this time I started to say “retirement is uninventing itself”.
As well as adjusting my language I also changed how I advised clients, encouraging them to plan for themselves first and then seek to design their financial plans around a plan for themselves as opposed to fitting their life in retirement to the financial resources they had available. Of course, no plan survives the battle and so constant adjustment is necessary, this goes for both personal and financial plans. The temptation when reading this is that you might think not planning makes sense, it doesn’t.
Plans tend to lead us towards having a reason for getting up in the morning, for example if we have something to look forward to we are more motivated to put in the effort to stay healthy. Yes it takes effort, but beyond the initial challenge of making a change the work actually becomes enjoyable.
Finding ways to develop a new way of life as we age is also something that can be enjoyed, I know I have tried different things some of which I like and enjoy and others I will chalk up to learning experiences and I will not be trying them again! Experimenting can be like going back to childhood (we have a thinking exercise in our workshops called Childhood Revisited) with all of the fun that discovery brings.
What might you try for the first time?
Could you restart something you once enjoyed in the past but had to give up or simply stopped doing?
Answers to these questions will help you think through what you would like to do with your future.
If you give further thought to your skills and abilities you may also find the key to unlock future opportunity. Try to avoid the easy option of thinking purely about your profession or job as this often leads to thinking about your job title, rather take time to consider the micro skills. Some of the micro skills that add up to your role may have been taken for granted, there are others that are so well practiced that you don’t even consciously think about performing them, after all did you think about or talk yourself through how to brush your teeth this morning?
Getting a more granular view of your abilities will allow you to think about the things you enjoy doing and those you do not. What other avenues in life could you pursue with the talents that you enjoy?