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Have You Got Enough To Do?

Nov 30, 2023 | Financial Planning, General, Latest News, Lifestyle | 0 comments

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How you plan to spend your life during retirement is one of the most overlooked areas of retirement planning.

In our last two newsletters we covered the questions Have you had Enough? and Do you have Enough?

Of the three questions, Have you Enough to do? is the one that most busy, successful people give little or no attention to prior to retiring.

After watching the movie, The Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, most Baby Boomers will assume that they will have this question covered. The movie is about two terminally ill characters, who after much soul searching, realise what is important to them.

Watching the movie is a great start, but you need to think deeply and make plans for your life once retired. Failing to pay attention to this important area can come back to hurt you.

You need to stop and think, reflect, and carefully consider what you will do with the days, weeks and months that lie ahead once your working life has ended. As with the other questions, you need to involve your partner or spouse when answering this question.

For those of you that have a partner or spouse, you can probably attest that nobody knows you better than they do. They will be able to point out your blind spots and provide important insights on what makes you happy and fulfilled. Another reason for involving your partner is that the two of you will be spending a lot more time in each other’s company so the needs and wants of both need to be considered. If you do not have a partner, a close family member or friend can also provide useful insights.

The more preparation and thought that goes into answering this question, the more likely you will have a successful retirement. Remember it is better to PREPARE rather than REPAIR!

Here are a few guidelines from the book The New Retirementality by author Mitch Anthony.

Anthony refers to the checklist below as the Five Vitamin C’s, which are essential principles for living a fulfilled life in retirement.

  1. Connection – Try to remove people from your life that drain you and surround yourself with people who give you energy and those that gain from your energy
  2. Curiosity – Choose activities that put you in a state of flow. These are typically tasks and activities that are so enjoyable that you don’t notice the time is flashing by. Not only do you have fun doing them, indulging your curiosity helps to keep your brian functioning.
  3. Challenge – Stay strong and fit by setting physical challenges for yourself. There is extensive scientific research out there showing how important physical activity is. Even working out regularly with light weights or resistance training helps to keep your brain healthier.
  4. Creativity – Allow yourself to have some form of creative expression as part of your regular activity. Depending on your interests, pick up a paint brush, write a book, join an amateur dramatic society or the local choir.
  5. Charity – It is a known fact that giving back to society makes for happier people. In a country like South Africa there are literally thousands of ways to help others and you will be a more fulfilled human being for doing so.

From speaking to Veritas clients over the past 19 years, we have found that the people who live the most balanced and happiest lives, usually meet four of the five principles from the above checklist. It is normally either creativity or charity that is lacking in their lives.

It is also interesting that Five Vitamin C’s are the recommended activities for pushing back the onset of dementia—so all the more reason for implementing activities that align with all these principles!

In a Nutshell

The three questions you need to answer to prepare for a successful retirement are:

  1. Have you had enough?
  2. Have you got enough?
  3. Have you got enough to do?

Answering each requires considerable time and reflection. Identifying the answers applicable to your life and circumstances, will provide you with an understanding of your retirement lifestyle and how your financial affairs can back it up.

The two most critical outcomes in retirement are to have a purpose to get out of bed in the morning and to sleep well at night.

Do not hesitate to have a chat with your financial planner at Veritas if you need a third party to act as a sounding board when answering these questions.



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