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Applying business principles to retirement planning


During my long career, I have served as managing director of a private hospital group, a niche pharmaceutical company and a paediatric vaccine manufacturer.  Later, I had the privilege of serving as CEO of Evergreen Lifestyle. In all these ventures, I realised that you need a vision, a plan and resources to be successful. Leave out any of these three elements and your business will fail.

It occurs to me that enjoying a happy and successful retirement requires the same three elements. Let me explain…

Many seniors stop work and enter retirement without a vision for the future, as if retirement is the end of a useful life and the waiting room for the arrival of the grim reaper. Nonsense! It should be the next chapter of a useful life. Companies without a vision have disengaged staff and retirees without a vision fall into boredom, depression and poor health.

The first step when transitioning from the working world to retirement is to have a shared vision of the future with your partner. Talk about it, make plans and commit them to paper. Set your sights on happiness and adding value to your family and community.

Then, to turn your vision into reality, you’ll need a plan that answers questions like:

  • Where will we live?
  • What kind of home can we afford?
  • What will we spend our time on?
  • Will we be close to family, friends and support networks?
  • Where will we get care when we need it?
  • How can we reduce our cost of living to ensure that our financial resources are sustainable?

A financial plan, prepared with the assistance of an independent financial advisor, is vital – but financial resources are not the only ones you’ll require.

It’s important to make sure you have access to a number of resources, just like a business does. You will need family, friends and support systems, a social network to keep you engaged and vital, access to public facilities, shops and supermarkets, quality healthcare and security, and entertainment options. Your retirement planning should ensure that you have easy access to these amenities when you decide to settle into your retirement home.

At Evergreen Lifestyle, we provide many of these resources in one place, ensuring that you don’t have to move in later retirement because a critical resource is absent. To find out more about Evergreen Lifestyle, call Sharon on 087 808 7000 and ask about our Partnership for Life promise.