The coronavirus pandemic has forced many workers to reassess their careers and how they view their retirement. People who are fortunate enough to be able to work from home (WFH) might be coping with a mix of technological and communication hurdles, but also enjoying more family time, more flexible hours - and no long commute.
Sadly, many others nearing retirement are facing genuine financial worries due to:
- reduced income
- potential redundancy once the furlough scheme ends
- instability in their investment accounts
Three ways to transition
Under ideal circumstances, there are three ways to transition away from your full-time job:
- phased retirement
- full retirement
- continuing to work into retirement
At Panthera Wealth we have seen how the pandemic has affected each of these options, and which could be the most successful for a range of our wealth management clients.
Working from home during lockdown may have given you a taste of what phased retirement is like. You will have reduced or even eliminated the hours that you’re in the office, and fallen into a new routine where you spend most of your time at home. Video conferencing has made meetings more time-efficient and effective. You’ll probably have some flexibility with your work schedule too.
The pandemic has made all of us reassess what is most important to us: people, experiences, goals. Phasing into retirement can help you fine-tune your work-life balance, based on your experiences in lockdown.
That same spirit of introspection may also have led you to think about jumping into full retirement sooner. Perhaps being away from your job has made you realise you no longer want to do unfulfilling work for a salary that’s just not making your life better. Or, if you’ve been putting off retirement, the experience of lockdown and working from home might have motivated you to stop waiting and start living the lifestyle you want ,in the new normal.
Working from home can create a separation between our sense of self and our jobs, something you may find a little unnerving. That feeling is also very common among new full retirees, even those who are following a long-established plan and are retiring on their own terms. If you’re leaning towards a full retirement right now, think about how you’d like to reframe your identity, and start living a freer and more fulfilling life after work.
Working in retirement
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people aged 65+ were choosing to work after retiring. Today’s retirees are healthier and more active than ever before. More and more are working past the age of 65 (and from October 2020, the new retirement age of 66) because they love what they do. You could be one of them.
You might also look at taking on your current job part time, so you can explore other interests while still earning a wage. Many working retirees top up their retirement and savings accounts while they’re still able to, so that their nest eggs keep pace with increased life expectancy.
Remote jobs on the rise
Could the coronavirus pandemic accelerate the trend for remote working and WFH? While social distancing, many seniors have gained greater proficiency with technologies like Zoom, Skype and Slack. Those skills could open up a whole new world of remote jobs, including teaching and consulting positions. Entrepreneurial seniors might be looking at the shifting landscape of global business and spotting a new route for starting their own dream companies. Those who have been shielding or in strict lockdown might be so sick of being cooped up that, when conditions are safe, they’ll seek out part-time jobs as a way to reconnect with their communities.
Talk to Panthera Wealth
If retirement is a change in your life that you saw fast approaching at the beginning of the year, talk to us about how the coronavirus has affected your thinking. We can review your current wealth planning arrangements, and help you find ‘your number’, the amount you need to secure the future and lifestyle you want moving forward into retirement.
Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash