Retirement planning: Your financial stock looks good but what about your emotional stock?

Our first priority when we think about retirement planning is ensuring that we have our financial stock in order. Your retirement portfolio might include savings, assets, investments and perhaps a plan to draw a pension. Without a doubt, robust and informed financial planning is critical to a successful retirement in that it positions you for greatest flexibility in terms of how you live your life after work. But it is not the only piece of the retirement readiness puzzle to consider.

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Regrets in Retirement

For many people the thought of retirement can create a level of anxiety because they don’t know what to expect – what life will look like when work no longer consumes the majority of their waking hours and how they will define themselves when their job is no longer a key part of their identity. There are also the worries of what should retirement look like and how they should be spending their time. Rather than worry too much about the unknown, I thought it would be beneficial to learn a little more about the reflections of those who have trodden the path before us. In particular I was interested to know what retirees would do differently if they had their chance again.

I’ve spent time this week exploring retiree’s reflections online and so in this blog I am sharing the most common reflections that I have come across.

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What should retirement look like for women over 60?

Why is it that some women struggle with 'what's next' and how to spend their time in retirement? The prospect of retirement should be an exciting time with so much freedom, but for many women this can actually create a sense of anxiousness. It is unchartered territory – what ‘should’ our retirement look like, what are we ‘supposed’ to do?

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Being Your Own Person in Retirement

Is it possible to spend too much time together in retirement and can this have a negative impact on our wellbeing? This is a topic that came up in a recent discussion with a good friend and Financial Planner, Christie Spence and rather than let the discussion slide, I switched into interview mode to understand her perspective having worked with clients preparing for retirement for over 15 years.  In this article we explore a challenge that many couples experience when embarking on retirement – working out how to be together in life after work, and Christie shares her suggestions for navigating this transition successfully.

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4 Myths About Financial Planners Busted!

It’s a theme that comes up with some regularity as I work with women to prepare for the transition into retirement- women who have great plans for retirement but just don’t know if or when they’ll be able to afford those dreams. They want to be able to write that novel, travel the world or retire early, but when I ask “what’s stopping you” they admit that they have no idea what their financial position is. Not only that, but these women seem to avoid finding out. Perhaps they fear confirmation that they will need to keep working or perhaps they don’t know where to get informed advice.

The challenge is that until you know your numbers, it’s difficult to take meaningful action. Knowledge is power and understanding your financial situation can only help to increase your financial confidence, your sense of optimism about your future and your ability to achieve a fulfilling and meaningful life after work.

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Women and Retirement – Letting go of Professional Identity

Given that Baby Boomer women are the first generation, as a whole, to be experiencing retirement directly rather than indirectly through their husband or partner, it should not be surprising that there is a lack of research into women’s experience of retirement. Disappointing - yes, but not surprising. I know that there is an Australian research project underway seeking to understand how women are coping with retirement and what it means for their identity, but rather than wait I wanted to see what information and data was out there right now.

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I'm Terrified of Retirement

Unsurprisingly you may be feeling a sense of anxiety about letting go of work. Work provides structure, it forms part of our identity, and it helps to create a sense of purpose as others depend on us for decisions, results and input. We might love the thought of never having to answer another urgent late night call or work through the weekend, but with work comes invites to coffee, requests to draw on your expertise and a family who asks how your weekend was each Monday morning. What happens when this is taken away?

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