18 July 2015

Tom Watson is doing it... when do you want to retire?

When do you want to retire? Or when do you want to be able to walk away from the ‘big’ job to follow a passion, set up your own business, or just look after the grandkids?

This week golfer Tom Watson will play in his last Open Championship, a competition he has won five times in the past, after which he will retire, at age 65. Most of us would like to have the option to stop working as soon as possible, and many might express a desire to retire at age 60, but ideally age 55. But when should you retire, or when do you know you can retire?

Our approach is to ask what, if you weren’t working, you would do? What do you really want to do? When would you like to do it? Thinking about what you would like to do in retirement in as much detail as possible is crucial. Research shows that most retirees regret that they focused quite so much on their finances as they approached retirement, before thinking about what it was they actually wanted to do in retirement.

If you spend some time thinking about what you want to do in retirement, you can then begin to think about the financial implications – what would that lifestyle cost? Would you continue to earn, perhaps at a lower level? Would you live in the same house? Would you have more than one home? Would you be likely to be supporting others such as children or parents? With some thought you can begin to build up a picture of your financial requirements.

Having worked out what your financial requirements would be, and when you might have those requirements, you can then look at where you are now financially. Do you have enough now, or are you on target to have enough? If not, you can begin to work out what needs to be done so that you do have enough.

At Carbon, we spend time with our clients determining what is important to them and what they want to do with their lives. We then work with clients to plan their affairs so that their finances support those ambitions and lifestyle. We see our job as helping you to determine your objectives, and the financial implications of those objectives; thereafter we look at where you are now and help you to get from where you are to where you want to be.

Watson doesn’t know what he wants to do next, although it seems reasonable to assume that he will have the luxury of having sufficient income to pursue whatever it is he wants to do. In relation to playing in his last Open, he commented, “it will be wonderful to be able to walk that last walk with my son and meet Hilary [his wife] at the green. That will be a special time for me”.

Watson may not know what he wants to do in retirement, but it sounds like he’s pretty clear what is important to him: spending time with his family.

Blog courtesy of Richard Wadsworth, View Richard’s profile here.

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