Ultima has been one of the pioneers of the fee-based approach in South Africa. Our commitment to you, our client, is to keep on refining the model to ensure that you continue to benefit from its value-adding offering.
PART 1: My approach to retirement
You’re drinking your second cup of fresh filtered coffee, listening to the breaking news headlines after reading the newspaper and walking the dog. You glance at the big old grandfather clock in the lounge, it shows 8:10. Your children are at work and your grandchildren at school. What will you do for the rest of the day? Maybe a round of golf, or a bit of retail therapy?
When it comes to retirement planning, there are two main questions to be answered:
- Will I be HAPPY? (Emotional)
- Will I be OK? (Financial)
This article delves deeper into the emotional side of retirement and how to approach it.
Thinking about retirement, a lot of people simply want to take time off and do nothing. This is understandable having worked long and hard to reach retirement age. You might move to a coastal town or somewhere in the bushveld and travel once or twice overseas, which might have been part of the retirement vision. However, keeping busy on a daily basis is often the biggest issue. You have to ask yourself how you would like a typical day in retirement to look like, or what will you do almost every day for the next 20 to 25 years.
History has shown that in the majority of cases, retirees have not really planned for their daily living. By default many retirees end up keeping busy with tedious activities in and around the house and perhaps attending one or more social gatherings per the week. Will this “keeping busy” be fulfilling for you or lead to frustration?
Ensuring that you live your retirement dream every day, you need to also plan the daily living, the seemingly “smaller” things that will fill more than 80% of your retirement life.
Approaching retirement from an emotional perspective, it is important to recognise the “life-side” of retirement. This means, instead of retiring from something, you should retire to something – something that excites you. Instead of just waiting to get away from work life with all its frustrations and stress, you need to look forward to new opportunities beyond your current circumstances.
Ask WHAT WILL I DO and WHY DO I WANT TO DO IT?
The key to a happy and fulfilling retirement is to live a sustainable well-balanced lifestyle which can be maintained well into retirement. A useful guide is the five vital “C”s of life:
- Connectivity – Maintain good relationships with family and friends. While moving to the coast or the bushveld may sound idyllic, one should consider the emotional effects of moving away from close friends and family.
- Challenge – Don’t stagnate in your physical or mental well-being, keep on exercising and learning. Alzheimer research have shown that by challenging oneself mentally exercises the brain similar to how physical exercise keeps the body fit. A round of golf every day may help the physical, but will it challenge you enough intellectually?
- Curiosity – An eagerness to keep on learning helps one to grow intellectually and counteracts the degenerative effects of ageing. We have 11 official languages, try learning one new language.
- Creativity – Applying your knowledge and skills acquired over a lifetime in creative new ways give a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
- Charity – Give back to others. This doesn’t have to be monetarily, but can also entail mentoring the younger generation in skills and experience (wisdom) you have acquired over your lifetime. Studies have shown that those who think of helping others enjoy less degenerative effects of stress. So even if this doesn’t make you live longer, you live happier.
These points may seem obvious at first glance but in life we are often blinded by the obvious. When it comes to retirement planning discussions, these more often than not resolve around the financial side (return on investment), and not often enough around the emotional side (return on life). We invite you to discuss some or all of these points during your retirement review planning discussions.
Help me to start planning.