Here is the LinkedIn article I wrote in April last year on retirement life when we faced the first lockdown in Dubai. It has not lost its relevance.
Me: I haven’t yet planned how I am going to spend my time in retirement life.
Mother nature: Here is a virus, practice.
As I am on annual leave and movement restrictions are in place, it has made me wonder if this is how my retirement life going to be. Three days into my holidays and I wanted to go back to the office. No, not because of my wife or kids (better to make it clear).
Okay fine, a little!
Anyway, jokes aside, consider this. Everything is closed, just the essentials are open. Nature is healing with no pollution, but a travel ban is in place. The pubs/social places are closed so no socialization. The entertainment sources are limited ie TV, gaming, music, books, talking on the phone, video calls with extended family, etc.
The regular runs to the fridge. The money is there but can only spend on essentials. It is difficult to exercise at home without the whole apparatus or a personal trainer, difficult to watch a movie at home even if there is a plethora of choice (I take one hour just to scroll streaming channels to find something interesting to watch), difficult to find a book to read even if you are on Kindle, I keep toggling from one book to another without finishing any. You can guess now where I am going with all this.
This pandemic is constantly showing us the mirror. It is the moment of truth. It is making us think about important things in life that we ignore while we run pillar to post to earn as much we can, save as much we can, to lead a good life; present and future.
Never let a good crisis go to waste.
Whether Winston Churchill said this first or Rahm Emanuel, that is up for debate, but it makes so much sense. We should learn from a crisis and be ready for the next one in our lives.
This crisis has given me some food for thought for my retirement life :
- What if I become disabled due to a critical illness, movement restriction and travel ban will be in place, not government-driven but by my own body. The whole world will be there to visit but I won’t be able to travel. What are the resources at home which will keep me occupied?
- I am hogging on food I love today, what if I get an illness like diabetes during my retirement life which puts restrictions on what I should eat?
- More people are losing jobs due to the pandemic which is making it difficult for them to live a comfortable present life. The money constraint is making it difficult to buy even essentials, entertainment is not even on the agenda. The sensible ones have saved enough for emergencies which will help pass 6 months comfortably or 12 months if they are careful. What if I have not saved enough for my retirement? I would be out of a job after 60 anyway and for a long time. Would I have to compromise on my standard of living post-retirement?
- Today, people are cashing in their long-term investments at a loss because they are in need and cannot think straight. What if my investments start to make losses just near my retirement date? What investment strategy should be in place to mitigate that?
- Today my kids are there with me to keep me occupied. During my retirement life, they will be far away, building their own life. Should I spend more time with them today?
- This crisis is for a limited time, maybe months. My retirement life is going to be for years, decades. What do I have to do about that? I need to make sure my retirement fund is enough to meet whatever my heart wants to do without any compromise.
We can draw out many more ‘thought provokers’ from this crisis, the idea is to start planning for the future using them.
For now, I need to make sure –
- Eat healthily, exercise regularly – so that the dreaded critical illness or chronic diseases are at bay at least for some time to help me enjoy my post-retirement life
- Call my financial adviser to discuss my post-retirement plans and strategy
- Not to cash-in my long-term investments in a panic and at a loss. Stick with them after discussing with my investment adviser
- Decide on that movie or series I want to watch on Netflix and finish the books I picked on Kindle one at a time.
If there is a beginning, there will be an end– Al Mutanabbi
This crisis will pass, learn from it, do not let it go waste.
Drop me a line to share what are your thoughts or plans?
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