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Are you emotionally ready to retire?

Matthew Sinclair APFS
Chartered Financial Planner
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Past performance is no guide to future returns. Your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you originally invested. The content on this website is for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as personal advice.

Retirement is both financial and psychological and it is important to consider both aspects as you approach retirement. In this article, we will outline our experiences on helping clients to consider if they are emotionally ready to retire.

Depending on your outlook, retirement can be a beginning or an ending.

Retirement is a time of significant change, and it is important to make sure you’re emotionally ready to retire.  For lots of people, their work is part of their identity and finishing work could leave a big hole to fill.  

The good news is that retirement provides the opportunity of additional free time, and you are the boss, able to choose how to allocate your time.  

Retirement can be stressful

Many people delay retirement due to stress and anxiety, even when they feel that they have a financial plan in place. The idea of handing in their notice and leaving work can be daunting.  

Don’t worry if you feel this way – you are not alone.  

From experience those who plan for retirement in advance are best equipped to transition into retirement.  Thinking about what you want to do in retirement allows you to look forward to the change and can transform a daunting decision into an exciting choice.  

Retirement is different for everyone

Taking the time to plan for your retirement will help you set your retirement goals.  

Retirement certainly doesn’t have to mean a slower pace of life; we have clients who have replaced work with:

  • Travelling the world
  • Charity work
  • Learning new skills
  • Full-time grandparents

In setting your own goals you can ensure that you are both financially and emotionally ready to retire.  

Health and Retirement

For some the decision to retire has been brought forward due to ill health or as a result of needing to care for a loved one. This can certainly bring additional stresses and challenges.    

Whilst you may not be in control of when you retire, you are still in control of what you want to do in retirement, and it can still be important to focus on the bigger picture and identify what you want to do with your time.  

For many clients, a bucket list is a good way to ensure that you make the most of retirement.  

Retiring too early

Some people retire because they feel like the time is right or because the financial plan stacks up.  We have had some clients who have retired but have realised that they made the jump too early and they weren’t emotionally ready for retirement.  The good news about modern pensions is a retirement plan can be flexible and your pension income can be adjusted if you decide to go back to work.

Flexible Retirement

For many people working on your own terms is retirement.  

Many of our clients choose to phase their retirement and will often reduce their working days, with free time increasing over time until the point when they can’t imagine ever having time to work full time!  

Consider both your financial and emotional position as you approach retirement.

As you approach retirement, it is important to plan for the future.  

You may also be able to retire earlier than you think. Speaking to a financial adviser can provide you with the different options that are available for your personal situations, and help you make the right choice when it comes to your retirement.

If you would like to speak to an adviser, you can give us a call on 0191 384 1008 or email us at

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