For the majority of us, leaving our office desks forever is something we can only imagine about as it’s so far away. For the luckier ones that are much closer to retirement, this can be a time of excitement and relaxation. Spending our days at the golf course or with our community groups, families and friends all day every day sounds like heaven on earth. The transition from full time work to full time play however may become unbearable.
Here are 5 facts about retirement that you should be looking at before retiring.
1 – Time – One of the first things our clients discover about retirement is that they have too much time on their hands with nothing to do. Playing a round of golf with mates, or enjoying a drink at the bar will only fill up a certain amount of time in the day and you can’t go doing the same routine day after day. Couples and singles alike will quickly become very unhappy once they run out of ideas on what to do with their time. Having ideas in your head on what to do in retirement is one thing; however actually doing them is another. Some experts are suggesting retirees have a day to day plan on what they want to do and even seek a therapist leading up to retirement. You will never be as busy as you were pre-retirement so it’s important to map out ongoing hobbies, part time work and social events before embarking on retirement.
2 – Retired husband syndrome – Many couples get very excited about retiring together, travelling the world together and spending intensive time together. If this is you then consider the fact that you and your other half may have been together for the past 30 years working full time. Aside from weekends and holidays, you never have to see each other for more than a couple of hours in the morning and night. Now all of a sudden you see each other 24 / 7 and may even start to discover that you can’t stand being together for a prolonged period of time. A great plan is ensuring each of you have your own hobbies, goals and friends. As my mother often said to my father “I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch”.
3 – Not having enough money to fund retirement – Once retired you might have the goal to travel, see the world and complete your bucket list, unfortunately you might not have the funds to do so. Travelling can become very costly. A single international trip can set you back a lot more than you’ve budgeted for. By the time your second trip comes around you may find that you don’t have enough funds anymore, so eating out may be out of the question and this year you won’t be able to travel overseas to see your grandchildren. By speaking with the team at JBS early on we can help prepare you and set realistic goals for your retirement, putting in allowances for those additional goals that you want to tick off your bucket list. This way at least you have a more clear expectation of what you can afford in retirement and prevent any nasty surprises once you’ve retired.
4 – Entitlement to social security – Depending on what year you were born, the Australian Pension Age is at least 65 but is gradually increasing to age 67. During retirement some retirees aren’t aware of what social security benefits they’re entitled to. Even if you are receiving funds from your Superannuation benefits, you may still be entitled to government age pension (subject to income and asset tests). We will help ensure you’re kept up to date regarding any social security payments you’re entitled to and consider how we can structure your wealth to maximise these for you.
5 – Losing your identity from not being at work – For those of us who are passionate about our profession, this becomes our identity. Anytime your friends or family think of Engineer, Accountant or Doctor, they think of you. So it’s no surprise that once you retire you may feel like you’ve lost your identity, which may lead to discontent and even depression. Without the daily interaction of your work colleagues, your mental and even physical health may start to deteriorate. Retirees who are not very active tend to decline rather quickly mentally and physically. Joining up to the local gym, taking up classes and just continuing to meet new people will have a longer lasting affect for you. After all, we all need something exciting to look forward to in the future.
If you are one of the lucky ones thinking about retirement, make sure you talk to the team at JBS so there are no nasty surprises. Remember good planning takes time.