My Retirement

I’m in the futures business

All of our futures. Every day I help clients plan for a better future for themselves and for their families. For some that is looking to a time when they can stop working. For the already retired, to ensure their post working period is a time when they and their life savings continue to thrive.

Now that job carries a lot of responsibility and a requirement to continue to work myself. As I reach 53, more and more clients are asking me just what my plans are.

Rest assured, I won’t be retiring anytime in the near future. Maybe I will never retire at all.

I’ve shown you mine – now show me yours!

I ask clients to tell me their plans every day. Well here are mine. After almost 28 years in the retirement business it would be wrong to say I haven’t considered a life after work. When I set out at Abbey Life, my personal pension had a nominated retirement age of 50. Before I had reached my own half century, the earliest benefits could be taken from a pension leapt to 55. As we speak the current pension freedoms bill is passing through Parliament with the suggestion that the earliest benefits can be withdrawn moves to 10 years prior to state retirement age. For me that is 67 and so no pension withdrawals prior to 57! A further 4 years to go before I can access my pension life savings!

As many of you know Lesley and I have two daughters who are both at university. The cost is not inconsiderable, which we continue to fund from income. The earliest that expenditure will finish, allowing for a follow on year to see them established in their careers, would also take me to 57.

However all of the above may be arbitrary. Does anybody work for 40 years and then suddenly retire anymore? May be I never need to formally retire?

How would the perfect retirement look to me?

I have blogged about working away from the office before, but if I still want to be working when I am 70, I know I won’t be coming into the office everyday.

In October Lesley and I went on a journey from Athens to Mumbai. I was away from the office for 18 working days. Apart from the 5 hour flight to Athens and the 8 hour return flight from Mumbai, I was connected by 4G or wifi everyday the markets were open. I answered client emails within the usual 24 hours, I gave Melissa & Lucas directions at the office and I kept up to date with world affairs.

We handled the overdue stock-market correction, buying low with the cash we had been hoarding since 6850 points had been reached at the end of February. Now to some I know, that wouldn’t sound like a holiday if I had to attend to work every weekday. But;

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius

and I do love what I do.

Perfect retirement for me would be about 50% of the time in the office to see clients and 50% of the time out of the office. A client of mine, Ken, told me one of his goals was to go “around the world in 80 years”. He wanted to join together all of the cruises he had done with new cruises, so he could then claim to have been on a world cruise by the time he was 80. Absolutely brilliant! I have stolen his idea. So here is my work/life balance for the next 12 months. Maybe for the rest of my life.

Office > Florida > Office > Panama Canal Cruise > Office > Atlantic Crossing > Office

By the time I reach 55, Lesley and I will be able to say we have cruised from Alaska to India. I make that about half of the world covered. (The easier half I admit).

When we set out to build a technologically advanced, well-connected business, we had no idea that it would allow us to control that business from anywhere in the world. We are in the futures business and hopefully will remain in it forever. Retirement couldn’t be any better than the life we lead now.