How to find ‘joy’ in retirement: look beyond money

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For those in the retirement savings industry money saved by members, mainly through super and a house, is a major focus of our working lives. But a happy retirement is not just about money, believe it or not. Enter Jon Glass.

Dr Glass, a recently semi-retired investment professional – asset consultant, fund manager and CIO of an industry fund – has published a book: ‘Finding Joy in Retirement’. Co-authored with David Kennedy, a financial advisor, the book offers four main steps to “discover meaning in life after work”.

Glass says: “We are two finance guys teaming up to write a book on retirement that has nothing to do with money.” He has built a consulting service called 64 PLUS, which provides soon-to-be retirees and retirees with a series of one-on-one advice sessions. “Effective retirement planning is about so much more than money,” the authors say. “And you only get one chance to make retirement extraordinary.”

While the book includes some real stories about people on their journey in the transition to retirement, the four key chapter headings which provide a useful guide for people approaching (preferably) retirement are:

  • Missing – what aspects of your working life will you miss and how will you replace them?
  • Measuring – how busy are you and how busy do you want to be?
  • Meaning – what is your purpose in life from here?
  • Mastery – what are your goals in retirement and how will you move purposefully towards them?

These are not easy questions to answer and there are lots of subsequent questions that arise when you are taken through the thought process.

One such story was told at the book’s launch in Sydney late last month by the recently retired district court judge Richard Cogswell SC. Until March this year, Judge Cogswell, lawyer and barrister, was also the president of the NSW Government’s Mental Health Review Tribunal, which deals with legal matters to do with mental health patients, such as hospitalisation against their will, and forensic matters.

Cogswell said he went to see a doctor for a check-up and the doctor asked him: “what do you do?” It was the first time he’d encountered the question and he was a little confronted by it. He was “retired” but what did that mean?

“I discovered that you have to detach yourself from work,” Cogswell told the gathering. You also have to get used to being at home together with your spouse. I decided to do some part-time teaching, and, for me, I have been fairly busy so far. This book encourages us to take the question of retirement seriously… I suggest if you are approaching retirement you start the process soon – before you actually retire. Jon and David have written a book which asks the questions you need to think about.”

The book is available at Amazon and Booktopia and selected bookshops; or directly at http://www.findingjoyinretirement.com.au/

For information on Jon’s retirement coaching service see http://www.64plus.com.au/

– G.B.

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