I’ve known Terry and Julie (not their real names, more is the pity!) for a few years now. Terry was a professional Cellist and Julie an opera singer. We set up a cash flow model – a forecast to give a financial path to their desired future – some years ago.
They found it so useful that when we covered the section on what might happen to the survivor on the death of one of them, Julie said “What if you go before us, Ian? We wouldn’t know what to do without you.”
Having what I think of as a high profile job meant the thought of giving up work scared Terry. He was worried about whether they could afford it, but there was also an emotional concern. He had been at the top of his profession for 30 years in a prestigious opera house, and had worked with a top orchestra before that. Once he had come to terms with becoming ’Terry the retired’ not ‘Terry the Cellist’ he still needed convincing that he could afford to stop work.
That’s where coaching and cash flow came in. We sat down over a couple of meetings to understand what they wanted from their life in retirement. It turned out their aspirations were quite modest, they just didn’t want to “feel poor” (their words).
We revised their financial forecast, looking at their chosen future. They began to understand – to actually see on the screen in front of them – that they could afford to retire, and without having to make significant cut backs to their lifestyle. The last meeting we had together was in October last year and Terry planned to retire the following February (Julie is going to carry on singing a bit longer).
Yesterday I had a call from Terry to say thank you to me and the Ovation team. His colleagues at the opera house chipped in and bought him a lovely mountain bike and each morning he has gone out of his back gate into the nature reserve behind his house for a bike ride. He admitted he was scared beforehand, but is loving every minute of his retirement so far.
He gave me a lovely piece of advice in return which he asked me to pass on to anyone we might know thinking about stopping work but worried about doing so. He suggests that Spring is the perfect time of year in which to retire. Seeing the Daffodils and other plants coming up to the sense of renewal is the ideal moment at which to start a new chapter in life.