Finding purpose beyond work
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Talk to any super fund and they will say that anyone approaching retirement should boost their super balance. Pre-retirees should investigate salary sacrifice arrangements and, if eligible, try to make ‘catch up’ contributions.
That’s all sensible stuff. But in our experience, there’s more to a successful retirement than having lots of money saved up in your super account. And there are better ways for a pre-retiree to prepare than to just boost their super.
Keep in mind that most of us don’t retire when we would like to. Usually we retire earlier than we had planned. Most of us are forced into retirement early for one of three reasons. We might get sick ourselves and can no longer physically work, or we may be required to care for a loved one who is sick. And if we’re an employee, we are often made redundant.
If we don’t feel ready to retire, and we’re forced to, some of us never recover. Especially if our sense of identity is unhealthily tied up in our working careers.
That’s why pre-retirees should spend more time mentally preparing for retirement. We think the best way to do that is to find a sense of purpose beyond work. And the sooner you do that, the better.
Search for meaning
It’s not just us who have observed the importance of purpose. Viktor Frankl was a neurologist and psychiatrist who developed the concept of ‘logotherapy’. His theory was based on the premise that the primary motivational force for a human being is to find meaning in life, rather than search for pleasure or power.
Research shows that life purpose is stronger in people with religious beliefs and core life values, those with close community ties, and those with dedication to a cause.
More than money
Interestingly, Frankl believed that affluence and materialism were potential barriers to an individual’s search for meaning in life.
We don’t necessarily agree with that. We think it’s important to make the most of your financial opportunities. But we definitely agree that there’s more to a successful retirement than just money. And the sooner you find a cause beyond work and a community that shares your passion, the better of you will be in life and retirement.
At When Financial Solutions, we understand the ingredients to a successful retirement. So, if you partner with us, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ you will enjoy a fulfilling life in retirement, but ‘when’.
Michael Bowman and James McMaster are co-founders of When Financial Solutions. This article is general and does not consider your personal circumstances so it may not be appropriate to you. If you would like advice specific to you, please give us a call.