27 April 2015

Do you want to work forever or get out at the top like A P McCoy?

Proper lifetime financial planning can give you the choice.

“I want to go out while I still enjoy riding and am still relatively at the top.” AP McCoy

AP McCoy, generally regarded as the greatest ever jump jockey, retires at the end of this month. He has pretty-much broken every record there is and has won on more than 4,000 occasions. He is at the top of his game and could continue to earn millions, but he wants to retire – now.

We all meet people who love their jobs and who have no plans to stop working. They make a good income, so why should they plan for the future in too much detail?

But is that the most sensible approach? Should we go on working forever? Perhaps we should dare to consider what our life might look like if we weren’t working.

AP McCoy is getting out while he still enjoys riding. While many of us currently enjoy our jobs, will we still feel the same in our 60s, 70s, or 80s? Will we still have the same energy and enthusiasm for it? And if we do should we continue?

It makes you think. Should we be spending all our days in the office? Is that how we want to look back on our lives? Perhaps now is the time to start thinking about making room for others, particularly if we work in a family business.

There’s the money, of course. But do you really need the additional income? You’d be surprised to know how few people even stop to ask the question.

Our suggestion is that you invest time now in thinking about what you might want to do in the future if you were not working. Would you like to travel more? Spend more time with your grandchildren? Spendhalf the year on a boat? Or play golf in Spain over the winter?

AP McCoy says:

“I’m going to enjoy my retirement a bit. There are sporting events around the world that I would like to go and see… I’d like to go and see Rory McIlroy win the Masters, and watch Arsenal win the Champions League final.”

These are not unreasonable wishes (despite what you might think about Arsenal!).

Once you have an idea as to what you might want to do after work, and when that might be (now? Aged 55, 60?), you can consider how your finances could support that lifestyle. This is where a good financial planner providing lifetime financial planning can really help, giving you an objective view of your plans, and bringing together all the pieces of your finances, from income and expenditure to pensions and investments, helping you to determine if your plans are viable, or what needs to be done to make them so.

It is only once you know how and when you can realistically ‘walk away’ from work, that you can make the choice – based on sensible assumptions – as to whether or not you actually wish to do so.

Many of our clients have a notional retirement age. Often, when they get to that age, they keep on working, but they do so in the knowledge that if they want to, they can stop, at any time. That’s a great position to be in, and it’s possible by simply spending a bit of time planning now.

Photo courtesy of Dan Heap

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