Money. Talk about your hot buttons!
No matter how hard we try to convince ourselves otherwise, there’s a hard-to-deny link between self-worth and our personal finances. We judge ourselves, to varying degrees, by our earning power, our ability to save and invest, and our money management knowledge and style (or lack thereof). Money issues are often the source of marital strain and private stress (hello, buyer’s remorse!) Not to mention “hard knock” life lessons like out-of-control debt or bankruptcy.
For the average Joe or Jane, it takes a good chunk of a lifetime to learn fiscal responsibility and to develop a healthy and harmonious emotional relationship with money. Then – bam! – you retire and that relationship is challenged in new ways.
Some of the anticipated stressors are obvious: Will I have enough money to last the rest of my life? What are my goals and investment strategies now that my paychecks have stopped coming? Do I need to cut expenses and, if so, by how much?
But, there are underlying psychological issues that may need to be addressed and resolved, as well.
It’s often difficult for people accustomed to saving their entire lives to start spending, especially in the beginning. Our Fit-To-Retire coaches frequently see clients wanting to spend the first one or two years of retirement in miser mode, fearful to spend anything beyond the bare necessities until they’re convinced resources will last.
Other clients are more willing to spend freely and may need to be reeled in with a dose of fiscal reality.
And, when there’s psychological disparity between husband and wife, real problems can arise. Priorities may be vastly different when it comes to spending one’s life savings. She may want to treat the entire family to an Alaskan cruise while he prefers to spend the cash on a Winnebago and head for the Badlands. She may declare she’s had it with cooking dinner and wants to start dining out every night, while he can’t wait to spend big bucks on a personal trainer to help him return to his fighting weight.
It gets even stickier when one person is stuck in miser mode and the other is wanting to splurge.
Most Fit-To-Retire clients find a workable middle ground sooner than later, but it takes a comprehensive review of values, beliefs and behaviors … and lots of honest conversation. Your Fit-To-Retire coach can help. It starts by our complimentary readiness assessment which you can take here. And, it ends in a happy and harmonious retirement where money isn’t an “issue,” it’s an asset.