Will I have to work until I’m 70?

We often get asked…’Will I have to work until I’m 70?’ As you might expect, it’s not always a clear yes or no answer and it is also not just about the finances. But when is financial planning ever just about the money?

My first step on this journey with clients is always to ask ‘Do you want to?’ On the face of it, this is an obvious question and when asked, people’s knee jerk response is often ‘no’. But more often than not, they then go on to say that they also don’t want to NOT work. The reality is that people maybe don’t want to be working in the way that they are now in say their 40s and 50s, but the thought of not working at all also doesn’t feel right. So it’s important to think about what your vision is here and what working or not working might look like for you.

The why is what drives you

It is also vitally important that you consider the why. Why are you working and what are you working towards? No matter what stage of life you are at, the why is a big one for me. Yes, the need to work is apparent, to pay for your lifestyle. But it is the ‘why’ that drives everything and encourages you to keep doing what you need to do. It’s about understanding what you really enjoy, how you want to live your life and what you are working for. My advice. Speak to someone you admire or trust about what you would like to do. But whatever you do, know your why.

Don’t let life get in the way of planning

And then come the financials. Do you know what level of income you need for the future? This is invaluable when unpicking whether you will need to work until you’re 70. I understand that life can often get in the way of this kind of financial planning. Life events happen that are a drain on your time, emotions, energy (and often finances too) – an unplanned pregnancy, lengthy IVF treatment, a diagnosis for your child, looking after an elderly parent, losing your job, bankruptcy, gloomy huh? Maybe. But these are real events that can take their toll and mean you simply do not have the capacity to think about financial planning. But whatever your life looks like right now, arrange a meeting with people like me to discuss the finances.

Forecast your future cash flow

We can help quickly provide a forecast for your future cash flow (you can read more about the tech we use to pull this together here). We can offer you a financial sense check that looks at what you want to achieve and shows whether you are on track. We can help get you financially organised so you feel more confident with either doing what you are currently doing or taking that risk with a new direction, safe in the knowledge that you can achieve your goals and stop work at the age you want to.

There’s no doubt that we need the money to create and fund choices. We need health and happiness to make life worthwhile (we cannot afford to take these for granted). But it will always be the why that will motivate and guide you, allowing you can make the most of each day. As one of my favourite actors, Matthew McConaughy, wrote, “It’s not the yet, it’s the now.”