Clients tend to neglect the lifestyle considerations in retirement planning and focus only on the financial side, according to a director of boutique advice firm Stanford Brown.
Anyone thinking about retirement in the next 10 years needs to start planning for what life after work will look like for them, and not just the financial aspects, according to Stanford Brown director of private wealth Vincent O’Neill.
“While having a healthy superannuation balance is important for a comfortable retirement, it’s not the only consideration for making sure the retirement years are positive and rewarding,” Mr O’Neill said.
“Unfortunately, people tend to focus solely on the financial side of their retirement planning and neglect the lifestyle considerations.
“Going ‘cold turkey’ into retirement is never a good idea, and we often see people struggling with the first few years of retirement because they haven’t spent enough time thinking about what they want their lifestyle to look like, well before they retire.”
Mr O’Neill said it is more important than ever for clients to ask themselves what they are retiring to, not just focus on what they are retiring from.
“When people think about retirement, the focus is on broad themes of ‘travel’, ‘relaxation’, ‘family’, ‘golf’ - whereas little thought may have been given toward what retirement looks like on a daily basis,” he said.
“This can lead to a lack of direction, a lot of time in front of the TV and in many cases periods of disenchantment.”
Further, Mr O’Neill said perhaps the biggest challenge for people is learning that their job is not who they are.
“Anyone who defines themselves by their work, profession or stature will find retirement to be a big challenge,” he said.
“The secret is to identify where they funnel their energy now, and what kinds of things keep them mentally active. Busy retirees tend to be the happiest when they are doing things they enjoy.”
Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.
You can contact him on [email protected].
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