I am writing this article in response to a recent column in Rapport by Mr. Dawie Klopper, an investment economist at PSG, which deals with “refocusing your career or even retirement planning” for those aged 40 to 60. Based on the ideas in the books Halftime and Finishing Well by Bob Buford, Mr. Klopper suggests that the above age categories should reconsider the second half of their lives at the proverbial halfway stage, since the second half will rather be about “significance”.
In order to ensure that you end the second half well, it is suggested that “whilst you are practicing your existing profession, you might start a second career simultaneously in order to start preparing you to switch from the one to the other”, as well as to “come up with a new plan, a new goal and maybe even an active effort to stay physically and mentally fit.”
The author hits the nail on the head, as the above group simply no longer retires in the traditional sense and sits on the porch at age 65. Their life passion is still burning strong and their experience is invaluable. Accordingly they choose to remain in an ongoing consulting capacity; become “students” again and obtain doctoral degrees; become entrepreneurs and also contribute more of their time and money to philanthropy as this is what is meaningful to them.
The question however is how it will play out practically, as the individual that has sat down and clearly articulated his short-term and long-term life goals and is able to stick to it, is as scarce as hens’ teeth. Especially as an individual cannot consider his own situation objectively and is also not accountable to someone to stay on track.
A job doesn’t merely provide a revenue stream, is also a source of your social life, self-esteem or status in the community, as well as providing daily structure and a sense of appreciation. Considering that the two biggest concerns pre-retirement are health and finances, with alienation the biggest concern post-retirement, it is necessary to address this subjective aspect in greater detail than to simply come up with a “new goal”.
The second half should indeed be reconsidered, but the individual should be guided in the transition process by a professional adviser acting as a partner, guide and educator in order to amalgamate his finances and life goals. The individual will be assisted in setting life goals, designing a financial strategy to support those goals, as well as to deal with the financial and psychological impact of everyday life transitions such as career transitions, retirement and death. Therefore moving beyond mere transaction thinking to transitionthinking. This client-centered, lifestyle approach will offer the individual the necessary support in order to find meaning, fulfillment and a legacy in the second half of his life. It goes without saying that the individual’s money only has true value when it supports his goals and dreams and is used in accordance with his unique values.
The good news is that you are not left to your own devices with such major life decisions as a result of ignorance or being too overworked. Spend the necessary time to investigate an adviser that is interested in you, who asks the right questions, listens carefully, offers creative solutions and whom you feel generally comfortable with. Your life goals, coupled with financial peace of mind are definitely within reach.
In the coming weeks I will highlight the aspects of professional coaching, whether business, life or financial coaching, and the overall impact thereof in the financial services sector. Coaching is a new addition to Contego as a means to enrich our clients’ lives and broaden their horizons.