5 ways physicians can avoid retirement failure
As a financial advisor, I help medical professionals with financial projections and investments to help achieve a well-planned retirement. Yet, I have observed that there are significant and often emotional aspects to retirement that many people (including some financial consultants) overlook.
While I’m not a psychologist, nor am I specifically trained to help people deal with emotional challenges, I do know that preparing psychologically for a huge retirement transition may be just as important as having saved enough, developing an income plan or re-adjusting your asset allocation.
How exactly do you prepare psychologically? As noted retirement expert Keith Lawrence points out, people who practice certain aspects of retirement before they stop working seem to be happiest in retirement. Consider the following factors to be fully prepared for your next chapter:
Factor #1: Scale back
Abruptly stopping work can be a huge shock to your life. A better way involves gradually scaling back on work commitments. For example, one of my clients, Carol, a psychologist, winnowed down her client list over time and then created a specific plan to scale back even further. Having a plan gave her so much freedom and joy because she could feel confident as she tested both the new financial waters as well as the social and psychological waters.
Lawrence, author of Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement, writes:
“If you begin practicing your retirement while you’re still working, you will be able to determine if your choices are good ones. If it turns out that you really aren’t as passionate about something as you thought you’d be, you can modify your plan before you retire.” It may sound obvious, but it’s not always practiced.”