Business World

The work risks for the over 50 market

The world of work is changing. You may be close or nearing formal retirement or you may already have been retrenched and trying to survive as an entrepreneur. This can be a very stressful time or you can plan to equip yourself both with the life skills and tools to ensure a successful next season for your life.

If you are planning retirement, have you considered the five things that you will lose when you leave the workplace? Each of these needs to be replaced in your new season to ensure a happy and fulfilled future.

Work has brought many benefits to our lives. In retirement, we often miss these benefits; in fact they have become “needs” that call to be replaced in our lives. There are 5 main ones:

Financial compensation: there is a sense of satisfaction in our monthly payment. This can be replaced through a drawdown of our investments, but many miss the feeling of actually earning their money.

Time management: Full-time employment offers structure to our day. The 21st century workplace allows work to happen anywhere. This will be something that the self disciplined person can easily manage.

Sense of utility: We gain a sense of purpose at work. This brings meaning into our lives. Understanding our purpose and usefulness outside of the formal workplace is critical for success in this next phase.

Status: This can be defined as a combination of a sense of personal worth and identity derived from knowing who we are and what we do. Are you able to introduce yourself without mentioning “what you do”, rather saying “who you are”? This again is a personal journey of discovery that takes deep reflection.

Socialisation: We form deep and lasting relationships with many within the workplace. This combination of connection, communication and interaction are a necessary part of being human. These need replacing when we leave the formal world of work.

Remaining healthy and fit will also be vital. The longer we continue to exercise and have an acceptable mass, the better our chances will be to continue to work. Keep mentally fit by learning new things and learning new skills will challenge us as well.

Once you are your own boss you need to ensure that you have risk cover like dread disease, disability and income protection. Andrew Warren, the marketing executive for retail at Liberty shared the following statistic: On average you are, 2.7 times more likely to suffer from a disability age 50-60 compared to age 40-50. Smoking will also increase your risk at this stage. It will be worth your while to include an integrated risk plan as part of your portfolio. Talk to your financial adviser to get qualified advice and to ensure that you can enjoy this phase of life with peace of mind.

Find work that you love and have a purpose and reason to get up every day. Not all work satisfaction can be measured in monetary terms. Once you have found a basket of both paying and non paying activities that feed your soul, the risks that you may encounter in this life stage will diminish.

Written by Lynda Smith, a retirement transition coach who educates and guides the fifty plus market to find meaningful work late in life. More details

Colleen Larsen


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