Shifting into the retirement mindset means more than just rolling out the world map and plotting out your travels. Of course, the freedom of being out of the working world is a glittering prospect—but it takes planning ahead to be able to afford your trips or other plans during retirement. It’s also necessary to adjust your personal retirement mindset for optimal happiness and healthiness.
When you take a look at your daily life, what do you see? Most people go to work, answer emails, make phone calls, go to meetings, commute back home, eat dinner with family, watch TV or maybe read a book to unwind. Then, they’ll wake up and do the same thing four more times. On Saturday they may spend time with family. On Sunday they watch sports, worship, get ready for Monday, and that’s their week. They’ll do this 51 more times and then the year is over. Eventually, they’re retired—it’s time for their New Beginning.
When we omit personal aspects of our life, it’s hard to differentiate one person from another. Luckily, each of our lives is meaningful for the color we add to it. For most, our accounts are a safety net to make sure nothing interferes in achieving what we want.
Retirement professionals often neglect the topic of adjusting your personal retirement mindset. That’s why we focus on getting to know you before we decide on how to get you there. The following few concepts can help you think of your retirement in a healthy way.
TIME AND BUDGETING: MORE IS LESS
If we were to ask most retirees the biggest change will be after they retire, many would say the added free time. With all this extra time, will your expenses go up, down, or stay about the same? Let’s take a small example: during your working years, you frequented Starbucks on the weekends with your wife, getting a pastry and a cup of coffee each, a simple indulgence you couldn’t work into your weekdays.
How do you think your coffee budget and your habits are to change now that you have reached the weekend of your life? If you’re like some of our Miramontes Capital clients, you might find that the expenses you don’t have to worry about anymore have seamlessly been replaced by expenses that were never there before.
Every person’s spending habits are as different and complex as their life. Likewise, spending habits change after retirement in personal ways. Nearly every aspect of the planning process relates back to knowing the financial details of your life; in other words, having a monthly budget. Moreover, on the psychological level, simply reviewing your budget can better prepare your mind for the transition.
RETIREMENT: THREE AND A HALF TIMES YOUR LIFE
Many soon-to-be retirees have emotional uncertainty in the retirement mindset. End of Work Syndrome, where retirees feel lost as they adjust to their new routine, is easy to fall into, and it’s felt most acutely in the first 6 months after retirement begins. New retirees can be fearful of deteriorating health, or a fear of feeling useless. Both of these feelings can be traced back to fear of time–running out of time, or having too much time and nothing to do with it.
In no way does more time have to mean less usefulness. The key to any gift is using it, and it’s crucial for the retiree to plan to make sure they are not going to waste the amazing gift that retirement is. When you were working, if you were lucky, the weekend meant you had two days of free time to plan and enjoy. Compare this to a person who has retired, who has seven full days of free time. The difference is five days: a 350% increase in time.
Use that 350% more time to enrich your life through pursuing whatever makes you feel fulfilled. The prerequisite is a plan. You can’t get what you want without a roadmap to get there—and transitioning into a retirement mindset is the first step.
So, what is your “New Beginning” going to look like? How are you going to put your most meaningful life into practice?