What about you?
What have you missed?
- Has it made you want to spend more time with family and friends?
- Are there places you’ve decided you really want to visit when you can?
- Have you realised how much you appreciate being able to get out in the fresh air?
- Have you missed eating out? Or have you quite enjoyed doing more cooking at home?
- Have you rekindled a passion for an old hobby or taken up a new one?
- Have you enjoyed the slower pace of life?
In some respects, the lockdown may have given you a taste of what retirement might be like. Admittedly, the “stay at home” policy has been a mandate whereas retirement is a choice but nonetheless there will have been distinct similarities:
- You’ll suddenly have had more free time on your hands (even if you’ve still been working from home, you’ll have gained back your commuting time)
- You’ll have been spending more time at home than ever before
- You’ll have had to think creatively how to fill that time
- You’ll have had to work out how to replace the social buzz of being at work
The way you have decided to fill the time in lockdown may have revealed something about yourself and your priorities. It may be that the break from routine and going into work each day has been quite liberating. Or you may have realised that staying at home every day is definitely not for you.
Whichever camp you’re in, it may have got you thinking about your options regarding work in the future – working from home more, part-time hours, consultancy? If you’d always thought you might be bored in retirement but have actually managed to entertain yourself quite easily in isolation, the thought of early retirement might be starting to seem quite attractive.
Many people fear retiring early because they think they won’t have enough money to live off without a salary. The lockdown experience, however, may have shown you just how much less you spend when you stay at home for a few weeks. You may have realised you don’t actually need as much financially as you thought you did. You may have got used to budgeting carefully and limiting your activities. You may have realised that you could live quite comfortably off a fixed income, just as if you were living off a pension, and your savings.
Whatever your long-term decisions, treat this time of lockdown as a mini trial run for retirement. Use it to contemplate how your priorities might have shifted.Think about which goals you might want to re-set.