Things retirees fear

Things retirees fear




Recently I was having coffee with a friend. While we were
talking, he asked me a rather unusual question.

That question was: ‘What
did I think people approaching retirement, and those already retired, feared
the most?’

It got me thinking.

In my day job I work with a lot of financial planners that
have clients who range in age from their 20’s, right through until their 90’s.
It is a very wide demography.

And naturally, a good swag of those clients is probably aged
50 plus. What we might call pre-retirees, new retirees and mature (or
experienced) retirees.

But, what do they
fear?

  1. The first thing that sprang to my mind was the
    fear of not having enough money, and
    perhaps the fear of the money ‘expiring’ before we expire.

It has been suggested that
perfect financial planning is having your cheque to the undertaker bounce!

But then, we move on from the financial fears and start to
look at emotional fears.

  • What
    about
    loss of relevance?

We go from being a business
owner, executive, professional, or a CEO one day, to a retiree the next. No
matter who we are and what we did, adapting to retirement is going to be a
challenge for many people as they re-frame their life and adapt to their new
role.

  • What will
    I do with my
    time?

Many retirees say they simply
don’t know how they ever had time to work. They are simply so busy. They, I
believe are the lucky ones. But for every busy retiree, there is probably
another that is bored, lonely and simply doesn’t know what to do to fill in
their time. They simply ‘fiddle’ around and lead a life that lacks direction.

  • Becoming single –resulting from the loss of a life partner is perhaps one of the biggest fears that many older folks have.

Perhaps they have been together
for forty, fifty, or even sixty or more years. And then one is gone. And it is
not only the loss of a spouse that can be devastating, it is also the loss of
family and friends as well. Ageing can be so cruel. Include younger people in
your circle of friends.

  • Ageing itself – with age comes the illness, disability, and a loss of independence.

As our minds and bodies age, the
things we used to do so easily become a real chore. We simply slow down to the
point where life becomes a real drag.

Perhaps a lifelong commitment to
some form physical and mental exercise will stave off the onset of debilitating
physical and mental decline.

  • And finally,
    many fear what the government might
    do
    to make the lives of retirees a little more miserable.

With an ageing population, the
costs associated with providing pensions, health and aged care continue to
spiral and present an ever-increasing challenge for any government. As sure as
you are reading this, change will occur. However, in the scheme of things, we
have very little control over what a government may do in the future.

The expression attributed to
national security, ‘be alert, but not
alarmed’
rings true today, in different contexts, including living in
retirement. We need to be informed, however, let’s not get too stressed out by
what may never happen.

So, do retirees have fears? Yes, they do, but have I missed any? Feel free to leave a comment and share your fears, and also your strategies to overcome them.

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