Avoiding Fear on The Scariest Day of Your Life: Two Ways to Help Ease the Anxiety of Retirement

I’ve never been skydiving, but I’d have to imagine that there’s comfort when you pull the cord on your parachute – and it actually opens. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure most people wouldn’t jump from the plane if they didn’t have some level of comfort that an experience person had been in charge of the equipment. How many people do you know who’d consider packing their own chute?

For many people nearing retirement, there’s a critical day coming up – and I’m told it’s one of the scariest of your life – the day that your last employer paycheck clears the bank. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the same conversation several different times. One prospective client asked, “I wasn’t planning to retire yet, but things at my company have changed. How do I know if I have enough?”  Another client retired almost a decade ago but had been able to cash in old stock options each year until recently when they cashed in their last shares. The basic question was the same – did I do enough while I was working to make sure that I can STAY retired? In my experience, there’s always a moment where reality sets in and you wonder… will I make it?

Here are two ways to help gain comfort with your retirement decisions and help reduce the anxiety and overwhelm that inevitably come one pay period after retirement:

Follow a process that has a track record of success.

At the “Drop Zone,” there’s a process that you have to go through before you even get on the plane. You have classroom time with specific instruction about sky diving and the process. It’s been taught many, many times and (assuming they’re still in business) they’ve been successful in helping people land correctly.

Over the last twenty years, we’ve developed and refined a planning process that has one goal – to help people prepare for their future with confidence. Our process works the same way every time, because this isn’t the time for “figuring things out as we go.”

 If you’re not experienced, find someone who’s done it before and let them help you.

We’ve all seen it – the jubilant skydiver whose eyes are as big as saucers, seemingly without a care in the world. What we don’t always see is the person that’s strapped to their back! In diving, it’s called a tandem jump. You get the thrill of jumping and pulling the ripcord, but also the comfort of knowing an experienced person is there to help – just in case you have any trouble.

In the same way, our advisors help clients experience the freedom of retirement, knowing that they’re not alone in their quest for a safe landing. We’ve helped clients work through almost any scenario imaginable and so, if you’re worried about it, chances are we’ve seen it.

The idea of no longer getting a paycheck can be scary. We get it! Our advisors have helped hundreds of clients plan for and navigate their ideal retirement – no two are alike. Whether you’re standing near the edge wondering whether or not you should jump or you’ve exited the plane (whether you felt like you were ready or not,) I can tell you this – there are few better feelings than feeling the tug at your shoulders when the parachute opens and you can relax, take in the view and enjoy the ride! If you’re not sure whether or not you’re ready, we’re here to help just click here and pick a time to “ask us anything.” We’ll be happy to give you a brief, complimentary consultation over the phone to answer any burning questions you have and can suggest the appropriate next steps.

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About Chip Munn

Managing Partner, SWS Senior Wealth Advisor, RJFS Chip is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Clemson University, where he earned a degree in education and was selected as an Academic All American by USA Today. He began his career in finance as a financial consultant with Wheat First Union in 1998. He specializes in retirement and education planning and the transfer of wealth among generations. In 2015, Chip was ranked among the top 10 regional advisors under the age of 40 by On Wall Street magazine. This list, comprised of advisors from regional brokerage firms, recognizes advisors whose practices are the best in their field nationally.  Chip lives in Florence with his family. His community service credentials include secretary of the McLeod Foundation Board and a member of the Florence Downtown Development Board.  He has also held as past board positions with the Florence Family YMCA and The School Foundation. Follow Chip on LinkedIn.

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