There is an old saying: Old Accountants don't die, they just lose their balance!!
Whether or not this is true, we all come to a stage in our lives where contemplating life after work is part of our psyche.
After having spent many years working with clients, most of whom are friends, formulating plans for business handovers to the next generation, it has always been a topic in which I have been heavily involved.
Probably the most oft asked question I have heard is: "How much money will I need to retire?"
My reply is always the same: "How long are you going to live?"
Most major life-changing events such as marriage or divorce, involve an ongoing process of adjustment. Retirement is no exception. Marriage, divorce and other family related family-emotional issues have been the focus of decades of research and analysis by both clinical therapists and religious institutions. Unfortunately, the emotional and psychological frontier of retirement has remained virtually unexplored until recently. However, while research on this subject has barely begun, it is clear that the psychological process of retirement process follows a pattern similar in nature to the emotional phases accompanying other areas of transition.
Geoff of the Coast of WA near Broome after hauling in a snapper
Retirement: The Final Frontier
Retirees must face what is essentially the last transition in their lives. The first transition comes when we leave the security of home to begin our school life in kindergarten, and after school we have the rest of the day to ourselves. Another major transition comes when we join the working world. Now we work all week but still have the weekend to ourselves. Then finally comes retirement, a time when careers are over and the work is done. Retirees have the rest of their lives to themselves. The transition into retirement can be broken down into six main phases.
1. Pre-retirement Planning Time
During the working years, retirement can appear to be both an oncoming burden and a distant paradise. Workers know that this stage of their lives is coming, and do everything they can to save for it, but often give little thought to what they will actually do once they reach the goal. The current demands that are placed upon them leave them little time to ponder this issue. Many people face retirement like a player on the football ground who dodges and weaves his way through one defender after another until reaching the inside fifty and shoots for goal. It's hard for many workers to think seriously about what their lives will be like in 20 or 30 years when they are trying to stay on top of their mortgage, put their kids through school, and have some fun in the meantime. They want to kick the goal, but other issues will tackle them long before then if they don't take immediate action.