During my working life, I have always looked forward to the stress-free and simple life I would be able to lead once I retired, but as I draw closer to the magic day, I am not sure how stress-free and simple retirement will be.
For most of us, by the time we retire, we would have dealt with all the stress, the high blood pressure and emotions that one would normally face over a period of 40 plus working years. Regardless of the type of work you have performed – whether you were self-employed, a professional, a public servant, tradesperson, or a labourer – without a doubt you would have been confronted with the many decisions and challenges work brings causing you differing degrees of angst.
This level of work stress and angst is compounded further by the ongoing issues of family life.
From taking your first born home from the hospital, the early childhood years when every little sneeze or a runny nose causes you to pick up a phone and make an appointment to see a doctor, the first day at school, the teenage years when you had no idea what they were talking about or what they were doing to your children leaving school, helping them find a job and finally – asking when are they ever going to leave home?
In addition, there is the drama and stress of providing a shelter for your family – the process of buying a home.
Saving for a deposit, reducing your recreational spend (which is your only option for relieving the stress you may suffer from work), going “cap in hand” to the bank to borrow enough money to buy the house of your dreams, which unfortunately could be become a nightmare, depending on the movement of interest rates and the security of your job.
So after you have survived this rather traumatic period of your life, retirement should be easy and certainly stress-free. You own your home and the last of the children have moved out and there is no longer a drain on your cheque book or credit card.
Life should now be simple…
Not quite. Now you are worried about things like – do I have enough superannuation to keep me in the lifestyle I would like to achieve in retirement? Do I qualify for the age pension or the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card? What happens if I am not able to look after myself? Will I be able to afford care and the necessary medical assistance?
These are the questions and issues that everyone faces when they retire. They are complicated and can be difficult to navigate and yes, they will cause stress, worry and angst if you leave your decisions until the last moment.
So what can a person do to try and reduce the level of stress in retirement? Outsource.
A large number of businesses in Australia and throughout the world contract out external contractors to assist with pay-roll, administration, and other non-core functions including the operation which causes all of us grief –call centres.
The reason most businesses outsource is budgetary. So how does this relate to someone in retirement?
In retirement, you can outsource the stress, complexities of age pension and aged care to external experts.
A financial expert or adviser will understand the legislation and how much you will need in your retirement. They will be willing to hold your hand and educate you not only during retirement but more importantly, they can help you take the correct steps before you reach retirement age.
Do not be mistaken, of course, outsourcing will cost you, however, I believe the cost is a small price to pay if it relieves the stress and the imposition of this mundane work on your most precious commodity – your time.
The stress you experience in retirement should be all about to how to fill in your day – holidays, hobbies, volunteering, working or learning how to just sit and relax – not all the dull legislation and forms which need to be completed and lodged in the lead up to retirement.
I work in this industry and even for me it is extremely worthwhile and very cost effective to outsource this stressful part of my retirement so I can concentrate on the more enjoyable aspects of retirement life.5