Originally posted at Financial Planning Today , by Julie Lord.

Over many years the big insurance and investment companies have been portraying retirement as one big vacation where sensible savers can play golf or lounge about on sandy beaches, living their retirement dreams.

The same companies are guilty of scaring people about how much money they will need to fund the 30 or so years they may have left when they finish working.

In his book “The New Retirementality” Mitch Anthony says that retirement is an artificial finish line set many years ago by companies that wanted to hire young talent and get rid of older workers.

Even though our clients may talk about retirement, many are not really ready to stop working and have not made any firm plans.

We prefer to talk to them about financial independence – the point at which they have
the freedom to make choices about how they live the rest of their lives.

Our experience is that people who can’t wait to retire, aren’t doing something they enjoy. They have been persuaded that retirement will be like a long holiday where they don’t have to get out of bed in the morning.

But often they discover that when they have no routine and no purpose, retirement isn’t as attractive as they thought it would be.

They are often bored, aimless and disillusioned – many suffer health problems as a result.

We therefore regard it as our duty to counsel clients carefully before they give up working.

We have been saying for a long time that it is important to have something to retire to – a new career or hobby – something important to keep them feeling young and purposeful.

Authors, artists and actors will never retire – they love what they do – so if we can help clients to find a way of using their money to love what they do (irrespective of their age) this will demonstrate our value and cement lifelong relationships.

This column originally appeared in the latest Financial Planning Today magazine which is available online now.