Retirement is not just about dollars
A life-cycle consultant has revealed only two in five retirees admit to being happier once they stopped working, prompting him to issue a reminder that achieving a satisfactory retirement goes well beyond how much money a person has saved in their superannuation fund.
“We hear a lot about how much money you need to retire. But there is not enough discussion about how to actually do it,” 64Plus chief executive Jon Glass said.
“What will you do on your first day? In the second week? At the end of the first quarter, the end of the first year? These are all milestones that can bring great joy – or despair.”
Reinforcing the fact a satisfactory retirement is more than just about money, Glass shared the fact 20 per cent of people indicated they feel unfulfilled and another 20 per cent say they had no purpose once they left the workforce.
According to Glass, addressing this issue requires individuals to first acknowledge the intrinsic rewards their employment provided them.
“[A] key aspect of retiring is recognising that your work, your contribution, your colleagues have provided you with a sense of self-esteem, self-worth for decades,” he noted.
“Many retirees tell me that once they retired they lost their sense of self-worth that they obtained from the work that they did.
“This loss of identify and failure to craft a new one can be a big shock for many retirees, especially male retirees. It even has a name: Relevance Deprivation Syndrome.”
He suggested a solution for retirees suffering from this condition might be to determine how their skill set can make a different contribution toward their community.
“Think beyond the traditional forms of giving back, such as traditional volunteering or donating. You’d be surprised at how fulfilling it can be to impact someone else’s life in your own unique way,” he recommended.
To this point, he confirmed a key non-financial consideration when preparing for retirement was for retirees to have at least a rough outline of how they will spend their time during that phase of their life.
October 23, 2023