Could lockdown be a trial run for retirement?

Date Published: 27/05/2020 09:49

If you are nearing the age to retire and have found yourself working from home during lockdown or maybe furloughed, have you considered treating this time as a trial run for retirement, says Jillian Thomas. 

We are certainly living through strange times. But for some of us it is stranger than for others. As the saying goes – we are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat.

If you are retired, life may not be so different, but you are probably missing seeing your children, grandchildren and friends, and missing getting out and away from home.

If you are still working, you may now be based at home, or working less hours or be furloughed. You might have faced quite an upheaval. And one thing that is worth doing is reflecting on what that upheaval has been like. This could be a good time to re-evaluate what is important to you and think about what that means for your future.

What have you missed? Friends, extended family, activities, eating out, travelling? What have you enjoyed? The slower pace of life, gardening, cooking, rediscovering a hobby?

The way you have lived lockdown may tell you something about what really matters to you. It may be that getting away from the daily grind of work and the commute has made you think differently about your working life.

Could you work from home more in life after lockdown? Could you work part-time perhaps? Or not at all? Could you turn your passion into a job? Is your old life still what you want to do in the new world of life after Covid? What about consultancy work? Or changing jobs? Or maybe you realise that you love the office and the banter and the camaraderie and the buzz of being at work, rather than the daily commute down the stairs to your make-shift office.

If you found you have enjoyed the slower pace, it may make you realise that retirement wouldn’t be that bad after all! You may have imagined you’d be bored in retirement, but instead have actually found that you were quite happy with not that much to do. Maybe now early retirement might be starting to seem quite attractive.

One concern is that you may think that you won’t have enough money to live off without a salary. But perhaps you have found that you spend a lot less when you are not travelling to work every day and paying fares and parking and coffees on the way into the office, and paying the dog walker and others to help do the things you just don’t have time to do because you are at the office.

You might have found that you could live quite comfortably off a fixed income, just as if you were living off a pension, and your savings.

Love it or loathe it, the lockdown could be seen as a mini trial run for retirement. So take time to think about what you have enjoyed and where you want to be in the future. We are here to help you with financial advice about that future, so please contact us if we can help.

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