Retirement is truly what you make of it. Learning to welcome the multitude of surprises it can introduce into your life means taking the time to find enjoyment in retirement.
Here are a few scenarios highlighting why retirement may surprise you—and here at Miramontes Capital, we hope these might teach you how to embrace the changes it brings.
Why Retirement May Surprise You
One Miramontes Capital client, Steve, met with us for about three years. He was a senior manager at a major utility firm, and had spent 30 years giving himself to his job. He was flexible and responsible, and there were no significant adjustments required to get him on the right path to retirement.
One day, something changed. Steve began to look closely at how he was using his time. He wanted to spend more time with his family while he still felt young. So we decided that his current economic situation provided him with a strategy to retire earlier than originally planned. It took a lot of cooperation; we included his wife in a number of the meetings as well. Within just a few months, he was retired.
Steve chose to believe that his future could be brighter than his past. He had always defined himself by his high-level position in his company. But almost immediately after retirement, Steve’s priorities shifted, and he was able to find success in a totally different way.
Steve had always liked to surf. Even with the demanding schedule of an executive, he made a point to occasionally take time for it in the mornings before work. Naturally, one of his first thoughts when he realized he was going to retire was surfing more. Then, shortly after retiring, Steve was struck with a big thought: how lucky he was to have his health. What a blessing to be able to surf every day, if he wanted to. Steve thought of others who weren’t as lucky, people who had suffered injuries and would never be able to experience the feeling of being out in the water, feeling the movements of the ocean. Then, he got an idea.
Steve had organized a community service in which he meets with wounded war veterans and gives them surfing lessons. It is a great source of pride for him that his family supports this new passion to help others. Furthermore, it has become an amazing time of bonding for the whole family, and a chance to learn from his new friends.
Steve could not be more pleasantly surprised. He said he had no idea retirement could feel so good. Not only is he doing what he has always loved—he is also helping others. As an added bonus, he gets to be surrounded by the people he loves most.
A Flick of The Switch
Like Steve, some people who have started their retirement planning many years in advance do not necessarily adhere strictly to the date they determine for their retirement to begin. The reason behind this can be found in one of the deep governing principles of life: there is only so much in our own lives that we can truly control.
A majority of people may find that their retirement plan and their actual retirement can’t be compared. People plan to retire when they are not yet ready to retire; when they are ready, the change happens instantaneously—like the flick of a switch.
This change may be brought about by any number of factors. The first undeniable factor is your health—if your job is one that requires physical exertion, the odds are that one day your body will simply say, “Hey! That’s about all I’ve got!” The second factor is your mind. Often, individuals begin to feel that working any more will cause too many complications for them, their coworkers, or family, and so they realize that it is time to retire.
Our personal lives, too, are full of people, places, and things that simply will not fit into our set plan.
Luckily for Steve, he started planning early on, so he had the ability to adjust his plan when he felt it was time to retire. We grow into our retirement plan, and sometimes adjustments are needed as our life and perspectives change. Much like installment payments help us afford a large purchase, a consistent planning process distributes the transition of retirement over a longer period of time, making it more manageable. But there’s a distinction that needs to be made in the planning process, which we’ll see in another client story: the distinction between planning to retire and planning for retirement.
Why Retirement May Surprise You: What to Do Early On
At Miramontes Capital, we had a client named Cindy who was caught off-guard by the abrupt closing of her division at work, which meant an unexpected early retirement. When the dust settled on the transition, her biggest concern was the feeling of not knowing what to do during retirement.
Thirty days later, we checked back in with her. She was already enrolled in a photography class and had hired a personal trainer. Fast-forward a few years, and Cindy had a schedule so full of photography, training, biking, and family that she told me she did not have much time for anything else.
Retirement, for most people, comes in stages. For most of our Miramontes Capital clients, the first three to eight weeks feel like a vacation they have been looking forward to for decades. This “honeymoon” stage soon fades, and they are overcome by concerns for how their time will be dedicated. What you can do now, long before retirement, is assess what is important to you in specific, measurable and goal-oriented ways. Create a list with general categories: Health, Family, Friends, Spirituality, Philanthropy and Personal Development. (And so on, as you see appropriate.) From these categories, start making more specific goals. Make short-term and long-term goals, and hold yourself accountable. If you put in the extra effort at the beginning, and a little more effort each day to maintain your direction, you will be pleased with the results.
If you are still wondering about why retirement may surprise you, consider contacting a professional at Miramontes Capital to answer any questions you may have.
Sid Miramontes and Miramontes Capital have helped more than 1,000 people achieve their retirement goals—and Sid’s new book catalogs that dedication to every single client in the retirement planning process. You can request your copy of the book “Retirement: Your New Beginning” by clicking here.
Schedule an in-office or over the phone consultation to discuss how Miramontes Capital can help you with your new beginning through retirement planning.
Miramontes Capital is a Registered Investment Adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Miramontes Capital and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This website is solely for informational purposes. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Miramontes Capital unless a client service agreement is in place.