My wife often tells me that we have completely different interests and when our children have grown up and left home and we are retired (sometime away) that we will probably go on separate holidays and do different things. Whilst this is a running joke between us, research has shown that women are thriving and men are struggling with the so called “Golden Years” –  when they are meant to be reaping the rewards of years of hard work.

The focus for retirement planning has been centred on having enough money for retirement – however retirement planning is not all about money. In the baby boomer generation – the generation now facing retirement – men were the traditional primary source of financial capital for families. Their careers and businesses required a large commitment and the concept of work life balance was rarely discussed and was not on the radar.rottosunset-170x300

Work, whilst demanding, provided these male baby boomers with social connections, status and purpose in life. Weekends were busy with sport and children’s activities and catching up on duties around the home.

Retirement, in most cases, is coinciding with children having left home. Being at home with their spouses, men are feeling suddenly cut off from all the activities that used to keep them occupied and stimulated. Whilst traditional retirement dreams of travel, enjoying golf and spending time with grandchildren can fill a lot of hours, there is still a large gap to fill. This is contrast to their partners who have generally been busy building their social networks via school and maintaining existing ones.

The article – Men do it Tougher in Golden Years by Bettina Arndt – highlights the following:

  1. Men spend less time in retirement outside the household;
  2. Conversely, women are thriving in retirement and tend to spend more time outside the household;
  3. Isolation and boredom in retirement is becoming an issue – and is even worse for single men.

The issue takes on new significance with the amount of years spent in retirement increasing due to leaving the workforce earlier than expected and increase in life longevity. The warning signs are there for men with their partners relishing their later years and various activities. Women now have time to explore new options and form new friendships. Men on the other hand are poorly prepared and may find themselves floundering without proper planning.

To make sure your retirement is golden it is important to plan what you are going to do – think beyond just the purely financial. How will you fill the gap that you are leaving behind at the office and your business? This planning process is known as transition planning.

Image courtesy of Transition Planning Australia

In the transition planning process you consider key lifestyle areas to decide which options will be personally meaningful for you and create a plan for a new life that you look forward to. You explore

  • what aspects about work life you enjoy;
  • what activities you did before work and children that you enjoyed;

and seek to find replacement activities that will replace them for you. The process requires reflection on what you really enjoyed about these activities and finding substitutes for them.

You will also delve into your past to explore other transitions that you have been through and recall what you achieved from them and how you coped with the change. An important activity in a transition planning process it to explore what activities you and your spouse enjoy doing together. You will reflect on areas of common interest and explore new things that you might enjoy doing which do not involve your children and grandchildren.

You will be able to use these experiences to help you prepare for the retirement transition so that you will wake up on Monday after you have retired and be looking forward to your new life with a clear direction.

If you would to make a start on your transition plan so that you are emotionally prepared for retirement and the “Golden Years”, please contact me on 0499976058.

Follow my footprints – Geoff.

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Disclaimers & Disclosures

Geoff Ivanac is Sub-Authorised Representative No. 000309751 of GPS Wealth Ltd (GPS) ABN 17 005 482 726 Australian Financial Services Licence (No 254 544) and can provide the following services financial planning, risk management, managed investments, superannuation and retirement planning, margin lending and self-managed superannuation funds.

The information provided on this website has been provided as general advice only. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives and you should seek the assistance of your GPS Wealth Ltd (GPS) Adviser before you make any decision regarding any products mentioned in this communication. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither GPS nor its related entities, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information.

  1. November 6, 2014

    Afternoon Geoff,

    Really like this post, it is something we talk to all clients approaching retirment about.
    Would you mind if we used some of the content?
    Kind regards,

  2. November 6, 2014

    Hi Rory

    I do not mind you using the content however I would appreciate a reference to Follow My Footprints.



  3. November 10, 2014

    Thanks Geoff, an excellent article as one who has worked well past retirement age I understand your comments very well. Many of my friends who are retired have made the mistake of not developing outside interests as they approached their retirement and as a result find their retirement less glossy than expected.

    • January 22, 2015

      Hi Arne, appreciate your feedback. I hope you are enjoying your “Golden Years”.

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Geoff Ivanac is Sub-Authorised Representative No. 000309751 of GPS Wealth Ltd (GPS) ABN 17 005 482 726 Australian Financial Services Licence (No 254 544) and can provide financial planning, risk management, managed investments, superannuation and retirement planning, margin lending and self-managed superannuation funds.

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