Retirement planning is about your life… Not just your money

Most of what passes for retirement planning in Australia is focussed heavily on peoples’ finances. We are led to believe that if we get out finances properly organised, retirement will be like a one long, happy holiday. For most people, that’s simply not true.

Now good financial planning is an important part of organising your retirement, but it’s only a part. Once you have a financial plan, you’re in a much better position to think about what you want to do with your life over the next 20 years.

Think about it. Most people who are retiring today are going to live for another 20-30 years. That’s a lot of spare time to fill!  As well, most of us are going to go from a fairly structured working life to a lifestyle which is totally unstructured and we have to find ways to occupy ourselves 7 days a week.

Does anyone really believe that a financial plan outlining how your funds can be sensibly invested in retirement, is all that most people really need to plan how to enjoy the next 20 years?

Once you think about it, it becomes pretty obvious that most people either approaching retirement or adjusting to this new stage of life need to consider both their finances and what they want to do with all that spare time over the next 20 years.

While it’s fine to spend the first few months of retirement doing very little and just recharging your batteries, doing nothing apart from watching lots of TV in the longer term is a recipe for disaster. Doing very little is a sure way to get bored and unhealthy and lying on the couch for the next 20 years doesn’t sound very exciting.

Our 10 years of experience talking to many hundreds of retirees clearly show that people who are happy and satisfied in their retirement years are nearly always actively involved with life. This generally means being active physically, mentally and socially. It’s important to have a purpose in life, to have challenges and to always have things to look forward to. All of this doesn’t happen by accident. It generally requires some planning and communication with your partner or those people around you who are affected by how you live your life.

My criticism of much of the retirement planning industry is that most of these important lifestyle issues are not mentioned to the people that financial advisors are supposed to be helping towards a happy retirement.

That’s why we have published 5 books covering all of the important lifestyle issues that most people approaching retirement aren’t told about.

You can find lots of valuable information on this web site in articles and by purchasing our books.

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