Forced into a retirement? Must be nice! Yes, that thought came into our heads too as we anticipated writing this article. In a very active mergers and acquisitions environment and the age of corporate buyouts, involuntary retirement is something we’ve been seeing more often. If your finances are ready to retire before your mind is, what should you do?
How Might Involuntary Retirement Happen?
There are a variety of scenarios we’ve seen where your savings is “ahead” of your mental ageHere are a few examples we’ve seen with clients recently:
- Business owner gets the “deal of a lifetime” from a private equity company to sell the business.
- Corporate executive has contemplated retiring in 5 years, and a corporate buyout that’s “too good to pass up” comes along, expediting her timeline.
- An employee who feels very ho-hum about his job comes into a windfall (say from a parent who has passed away). Suddenly, the idea of working ‘an extra five years’ is not a must for his family’s long term financial success.
- A pre-retirement age employee’s boss approaches her about her retirement plans, suggesting she work part-time in the not-too-distant future
- Corporate mandated retirement ages kick in, like the airline pilot who is mandated to retire by 65
What Early Retirees Will Say
We’ve talked extensively with some of these folks about how retirement has shaped up for them. Here are some do’s and don’ts we’ve been hearing from real people who have gone through this experience:
1.) Go on a vacation. Initially, not having anywhere to go in the morning can be a huge shock to the system. It can also come as a huge relief after years at the corporate grind. Before kickstarting this new chapter, take some time away with your family to “get your head right.” However, you are feeling, take some time to get out of your day-to-day.
2.) Start to formulate a daily game plan. Once you’ve cleared your head, it’s time to contemplate how your new day-to-day will play out. We suggest creating a sample week for yourself and writing down how you’ll spend each morning, afternoon, and evening. Sound tough to do? It is, but you’ll get it right in time. Need help getting started? Check out our great “Week in Retirement” scheduler (link here)
3.) Understand your ongoing financial situation. You’ve spent your entire working years saving like crazy. Now it’s time to spend some of your hard-earned dollars. For many, this shift from saving to spending is an emotional challenge. If you’d feel more comfortable doing this within a set of parameters, meet with a financial advisor to get some guidance on a budget and cash flow plan.
4.) Network like crazy. This is important if your change to retirement has happened rapidly and somewhat out of your control. If you’re struggling with what to do every day, lean on your network of former colleagues and friends to help you out. You never know who you might meet and where an interesting suggestion may come from. Plus, you’ll get to discover the best local breakfast spots!
5.) Pursue a personal passion. Don’t take the whole “not working” thing too seriously! Use this newfound free time to pursue something you’ve always wanted. Maybe it’s a new hobby, sport or educational pursuit; maybe it’s volunteering; maybe it’s trying a lower-paying job that you’ve always been interested in. Whatever your “thing” may be, now’s the time to try it!
1.) Allow others to make you feel bad. Especially in the case of 50-something retirees, your friends and family members might make you feel guilty about leaving the workforce. Silence the chatter immediately. Financially, you may not need to work, but that doesn’t mean you are sitting by idly. Don’t feel bad about experiencing more life balance now, perhaps something these folks have had all along. Don’t feel compelled to explain yourself.
2.) Be stressed in whatever you pursue next. This is retirement, after all! Don’t feel the need to start a new business if that “isn’t you.” Give yourself a break!
3.) Worry if it doesn’t come together. Remember, it will all work out! Maybe your first try at a new activity or business is not what you were expecting. That’s ok! Rest assured that with a little time you WILL figure it out.