For those reaching a transition stage as their ‘first career’ ends it is time to face up to three Big Questions. Your answers will shape the rest of your life and the lives of those who are important to you so take your time, but do face up to them.
EML researches the implications of a world population that is living longer and how that changes almost every aspect of later life. Implicit in our work is an acceptance that there is an end and these questions refer to the time period between now and that moment you are no longer around.
1. What do you want to do? Once you recognise and accept your time remaining is finite deciding how you spend that time is all important. While working with octogenarians we met many with regrets over their squandered opportunity. They are a generation who never expected to live to their 80s and many feel they have wasted the last two decades waiting to die. Their advice is simple think carefully about what you want to do – and then do it!
2. What can you afford to do? There is huge diversity amongst those considering transition right now. Some consider themselves the last of the Baby Boomers who have benefitted from generous pension schemes, rampant house price inflation and excellent health. They expect a long and comfortable retirement. Others missed the boat, their pensions arrangements are less generous and may have been late into the property ownership. Their retirement plans may, by necessity, include continued employment. For them there is no option to stop work but with luck they could switch to doing something they enjoy. Finally, there are many for whom retirement is simply not an option. Living off a state pension alone means living in poverty old age is a challenge. Understanding your finances is vital to determining what next
3. What is stopping you? This is the hardest question of all mainly because, when you dig down, the real answer is you. My 97 year old father-in-law is fixated with saving. When asked what he is saving for he is clear – his old age. He, and many like him, never stopped to ask these three questions and so have happily continued saving ‘for a rainy day’.
Time to start thinking about what you want…..
Call EML 020 3372 4062