Despite being the time of life that many of us look forward to, retirement, or the transition to it, can also be a major cause for concern.
What if no longer doing the things that you have been doing your entire working life makes you yearn for the social aspects you enjoyed at work, or the mental or physical activity you had to exert each day in your job?
How can you make sense of and plan for the potentially significant changes to your finances when your salary stops?
These and many more questions are commonplace among delegates that attend the planning your future and pre-retirement courses run by charitable organisations throughout Scotland.
For example, Grampian Pre-Retirement Council exists to promote greater awareness of the many challenges and opportunities facing those approaching the end of their working lives.
A presentation on each topic being covered on the courses is delivered by a specialist in that field. In addition to a comprehensive session on financial planning from an independent financial adviser, delegates also get to hear from a local solicitor about the importance of making a will and appointing an attorney to act on their behalf should they be unable to look after their own affairs.
Importantly, the courses also cater for the non-financial aspects of the transition. Being aware of forthcoming lifestyle changes and preparing for them by keeping healthy in mind and body is another often overlooked but much appreciated topic.
Most firms understand the benefits of investing in their employees and most delegates that attend these courses find out about them as a result of their employer offering to pay for their attendance. Open courses, where delegates from a variety of employers can attend, are run throughout the year but it is also possible for employers to request a course purely for their own workers.
The positive feedback delegates provide after each course confirms that the time invested in attending provides a valuable insight into the challenges and opportunities we all face as we approach one of our most significant lifestyle transitions.
Further information about the work of Grampian Pre-Retirement Council, including course programmes and booking forms, can be found at www.pasturesnew.org.uk
Barry O’Neill is a chartered financial planner with Thomson Shepherd and can be contacted on 01224 619215