The Golden Years for Men?

My wife often tells me that we have completely different interests and when our children have grown up and left home and we are retired (sometime away) that we will probably go on separate holidays and do different things. Whilst this is a running joke between us, research has shown that women are thriving and men are struggling with the so called “Golden Years” –  when they are meant to be reaping the rewards of years of hard work.

The focus for retirement planning has been centred on having enough money for retirement – however retirement planning is not all about money. In the baby boomer generation – the generation now facing retirement – men were the traditional primary source of financial capital for families. Their careers and businesses required a large commitment and the concept of work life balance was rarely discussed and was not on the radar.

Work, whilst demanding, provided these male baby boomers with social connections, status and purpose in life. Weekends were busy with sport and children’s activities and catching up on duties around the home.

Retirement, in most cases, is coinciding with children having left home. Being at home with their spouses, men are feeling suddenly cut off from all the activities that used to keep them occupied and stimulated. Whilst traditional retirement dreams of travel, enjoying golf and spending time with grandchildren can fill a lot of hours, there is still a large gap to fill. This is contrast to their partners who have generally been busy building their social networks via school and maintaining existing ones.

The article – Men do it Tougher in Golden Years by Bettina Arndt – highlights the following:

  1. Men spend less time in retirement outside the household;
  2. Conversely, women are thriving in retirement and tend to spend more time outside the household;
  3. Isolation and boredom in retirement is becoming an issue – and is even worse for single men.

The issue takes on new significance with the amount of years spent in retirement increasing due to leaving the workforce earlier than expected and increase in life longevity. The warning signs are there for men with their partners relishing their later years and various activities. Women now have time to explore new options and form new friendships. Men on the other hand are poorly prepared and may find themselves floundering without proper planning.

To make sure your retirement is golden it is important to plan what you are going to do – think beyond just the purely financial. How will you fill the gap that you are leaving behind at the office and your business? This planning process is known as transition planning.

In the transition planning process you consider key lifestyle areas to decide which options will be personally meaningful for you and create a plan for a new life that you look forward to. You explore

  • what aspects about work life you enjoy;
  • what activities you did before work and children that you enjoyed;

and seek to find replacement activities that will replace them for you. The process requires reflection on what you really enjoyed about these activities and finding substitutes for them.

You will also delve into your past to explore other transitions that you have been through and recall what you achieved from them and how you coped with the change. An important activity in a transition planning process it to explore what activities you and your spouse enjoy doing together. You will reflect on areas of common interest and explore new things that you might enjoy doing which do not involve your children and grandchildren.

You will be able to use these experiences to help you prepare for the retirement transition so that you will wake up on Monday after you have retired and be looking forward to your new life with a clear direction.

If you would to make a start on your transition plan so that you are emotionally prepared for retirement and the “Golden Years”, please contact me on 0499976058.

 


General Advice Warning: Any advice on this site is general advice only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. It does not represent legal, tax, or personal advice and should not be relied on as such. You should obtain financial advice relevant to your circumstances before making any decisions.


General Advice Warning: Any advice on this site is general advice only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. It does not represent legal, tax, or personal advice and should not be relied on as such. You should obtain financial advice relevant to your circumstances before making any decisions.
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