Jason B. Miyashita
Senior vice president, investments
Senior institutional consultant
Asia Pacific Group of Raymond James
If you forget to switch the alarm clock off on the first morning after you retire, what will you do when it wakes you up? Smile and hit the snooze button? Or leap up, ready for a job that no longer needs you?
At first, retirement may seem like a vacation — a week or a month or two when you can travel, indulge in your hobbies and reconnect with your spouse and relatives. If you hit the snooze button, perhaps you’re on the way to making the mental adjustments needed to make the most of your new status.
If, however, briefly, you wonder what you can do now that your work is over, you may need some time to adjust to your new status. Suddenly, your time is yours to control, but your lifestyle has changed, too. Yes, regular paychecks disappear, but, more than that, your friends and colleagues are still in their working routines, making business decisions, attending meetings, going to conferences and interacting with others in myriad ways.
Finally, you’re free of all that. And you miss it.
One study reports that 13% of pre-retirees think social connection loss will be a problem, but 22% of actual retirees say it actually is.
Don’t miss the moment
However, this is your time — time to realize all those retirement dreams you’ve been investing in over the years. An AARP study says the prime period for healthy retirees is between 65 and 74. Vigorous, mentally alert, physically capable men and women can climb the 422 steps to the top of Notre Dame in Paris to inspect the flying buttresses and the gargoyles, trek to Ayer’s Rock in Australia or hike among the mountain peaks in the higher elevations of the Rockies.
The happiest retirees report developing a new sense of self by learning, working at something they particularly enjoy and checking off places on their “must-visit” travel list. The key is the advanced planning and mental preparation they made to reorient their lives into a fulfilling retirement mode.
If you have made the mental and social revisions necessary to live life to the fullest in your early retirement years, you may find this the ideal time to make adjustments to your financial plan as well. It could be time to consider changes that would create more of an income stream and preserve your wealth rather than trying to grow it.
— This piece is the second in a three-part series. Stay tuned to the next issue of Guam Business Magazine for “Retirement, stage three: Planning, contentment and reflection — and your legacy.”