Our Collective Experience During the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Reflection
Over the past week, Claire from FH Manning Financial Services has had a number of telephone conversations with her clients: a chance to catch up and see how they’re managing throughout the current situation. Many of these conversations naturally circled around personal finances. Generally, however, they centred around a common theme: how they were doing personally and how they were filling time during the lockdown.
Never before in history have so many people across the world been forced to stay at home. These measures have caused an incredible shift in public perception of many things–not just financial management, but perspective of the future. It brings to mind a recent post in Forbes that discusses why COVID-19 is a ‘fire drill’ for retirement.
The Broader, More Personal Impact of COVID-19
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, many people are facing its impact. They may not know someone who has been sick. They might not have the illness themselves, or they may not be high risk if they do contract it–but that’s not changing the emotional impact this virus has had on people around the world. Even those who might face no physical symptoms from the virus are not immune to the emotional impact.
People are naturally anxious about the changes that have come over the world during this time. They’re concerned about economic stability. They’re worried about their retirement–and for many people, it’s not just financial stability that is posing a worry. Many people are suddenly faced with concerns about how they will fill their time during retirement–a concern that they might never have considered before. Thanks to the current lockdown, people see more than ever how hard it can be to fill a day when you aren’t heading in to work every day. Many people have fallen into a sort of haze, left unsure about what to do next or how to fill those hours–and that brings up a number of natural questions about retirement.
What Does Your Retirement Look Like?
The longer the lockdown goes on, the more people will question what is important to them–not just from a financial viewpoint, but also from a sense of wellbeing. As the Forbes article notes, your retirement could include 8,000 days–or more, depending on your lifespan and overall health. You’ll need to fill those days.
Thanks to the pandemic, many people are discovering just how hard it can be to fill your days–and their retirement plans may change dramatically as a result. It’s entirely possible that as we come out of the pandemic and lives begin to return to some semblance of normalcy, people will face a shift in sentiment regarding how they want to live their lives in retirement. It might:
Change where people want to live. As you consider how you’re spending your days now, you may want to change the place where you live during retirement. It might become more important to have certain features to your retirement community, whether literal or figurative.
Leave people with the desire to avoid being locked into a specific geographic area. The lockdown is making many people realise that they want the freedom to live life and continue to explore.
Cause people to want to be closer to family? People now understand, better than ever, what it feels like when your personal world grows ever smaller. Many people are seeing the importance of being close to family, especially when they consider the possibility of health conditions or the need for assistance as they age.
Momentous events in life, especially momentous events that are a collective experience, make us realise more than ever what is important to us as individuals. It both brings us together and sets us apart, shaping the way we choose to handle everything from our daily job tasks to our retirement needs–and now, more than ever, we’re getting a look at how we might really want our retirement years to look. Many clients are facing significant anxiety related to retirement–and wondering not only whether they will have the funds they need for their retirement years, but how they really want to shape those retirement hours. Retirement planning remains as critical as ever–but the goal may have changed from endless days without a clock to punch to fulfilling experiences and opportunities that can help positively develop retirees’ futures.
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