Questions must be asked…
In creating EML I set out to understand the full impact and implications of living longer. I quickly learned that while much work was being done looking at various narrow aspects of the trend – financial, medical, social etc – there was little research into the overall impact on individuals – you and me. It is only when you truly understand that your current ‘expectations’ of later life must change to reflect the new reality that you start to ask the important questions:
UK life expectancy is now over 80 yet many people still expect to retire at 65. Two questions:
- What are you going to do with the time?
- How are you going to pay for it?
Once you have an answer to those questions you need to think about your health – to enjoy these extra years you will need to be as healthy as possible
- What do you have to do now to optimise your health in later life?
As we go through life we all tend to accumulate possessions – with living longer we accumulate more – for some these can become a millstone. You need to decide
- What do we really want/need?
- What are we going to do with the rest of it?
Loneliness and social isolation is becoming an issue for many. Increasing international mobility may mean that old friends and family may be far away.
- How do you avoid ending up isolated?
- What do you have to do now?
As the Baby Boomer generation moves into retirement many find themselves with unexpected wealth. The combination of national peace and prosperity, near full employment, improving health, rising house process and generous pensions mean that many will be caught by inheritance tax.
- Do you want to pay this second tax on already taxed wealth?
- What are you going to do about it?
Through working with clients to address these questions I have seen the challenges they face. For some it is too late (I’m too old to change). Others have tried and fallen short – walking away from the difficult decisions they must take. But for the determined few – the Brave – their lives have been transformed, I have watched in awe at the deliberate steps they have taken to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity.