A chance to paint yourself a new future

Amanda Brewer turned 62 this year. She was a senior manager for a pub chain, for which she had worked for twenty years.

She enjoyed her job, relishing its fast pace and particularly enjoyed navigating the inevitable crises that the trade threw at her. A long-standing Reeves client, she had always planned to retire at the age 65, but she was ambivalent about this, fearing that she would miss her work and the adrenaline rush.

In the event, the covid 19 epidemic gave her a taste of what a slower pace would mean as she was furloughed twice in 2020. She has expected that this would be highly stressful and that she wouldn’t be able to turn off and would be bored to distraction.

However, to her own great surprise, she found herself enjoying her enforced leisure. In her youth she had been a keen amateur painter, so she dug her easel and brushes out of the loft and took it up again. The old skills only returned gradually, but her love of applying watercolour to canvass came back with a rush. Soon she wasn’t giving work a second thought and, when her second furlough did end, she found it hard to summon up her old enthusiasm for the job.

She raised this with us during her annual review and we suggested we take a look at her options. She had recently paid off her mortgage, which significantly reduced her monthly outgoings and, taking into account her likely lifestyle in retirement and remaining core household expenditure, we presented her with some figures. To her surprise and delight, she found that she didn’t need to continue working and, from April 2021, she is going to retire and devote herself seriously to her painting.

Amanda is by no means the only person for whom 2020 has prompted a radical reappraisal.

Many like her, have discovered that – for them – there’s more to life than work. Some have found that the various covid-related restrictions, which have meant fewer opportunities for spending money, have made them realise how much unnecessary expenditure they have and how some permanent cutting back makes retirement possible. Others, who had their own businesses, have just found that enforced shutdown has prompted the decision to call it a day and enjoy retirement.

Of course, it doesn’t take an event as dramatic as a global pandemic to justify a reassessment of your life and retirement plans. In fact, at Reeves, we encourage this as a regular exercise, which is why, for all our clients, we sit down with them and conduct a review of their situation and ambitions.

But, remember, we’re here for you all the time. If you want to take a fresh look at things, even if you’re not entirely clear in your own mind yet what you want to do, get in touch with your Reeves adviser, who will be only too happy to talk things through with you. Many people are pleasantly surprised to find just what unexpected options are open to them.

Perhaps, like Amanda, you’ll discover that your future is a blank canvas.

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