Here is a topic which came up at Serenity HQ this week, brought up by our recently crowned Fellow of the Chartered Institute Caroline Keegan.
In the midst of a discussion, she mentioned how people's view and experience of their retirement may be very different from what they expect, to what is reality.
In the financial part of the equation, we can of course model, demonstrate, plan and adjust assumptions and figures as our clients head towards the big day and the rest of their lives. Yes it takes a high degree of knowledge and skill to get the figures absolutely correct, and with the aid of technology, we can generally get pretty close, even building in re-runs of the 2008 credit crunch to demonstrate the impact on the financial plan of a huge market crash.
The monetary part for someone who is engaged in their financial future is less likely to be where any surprises may lie, but rather actual day to day business of retirement.
Will retirement be all holidays and lunches at garden centres? Will it be just looking forward to watching your favourite TV show with an eccles cake and a cup of tea at 3.30pm ? Or, could it be full of purpose, full of fun, a brand new start?
What we do know, is that frequently, we come across people who had such high expectations for their retirement, then a year or two in have just managed to find themselves in a rut of mundaneness. They may even look back and wish that they had stayed working and be paid to be bored, rather than sacrifice an income and have very little social interaction.
The reality is, that people are realising that they need to plan their retirement just as they plan their future. That planning is not just about scheduling in a month-long break to Malta each October, but figuring out how each day and week may look, what they will do to happily fill the time, and regain their purpose and passions which may well have been put on hold for 50 years (whilst 'grown up life' for in the way).
This is what we do at Serenity. We work with people to help them to have happy and fulfilled lives - simple as that. Yes, financial planning helps, but financial life planning is the key!