I seem to be reading more and more about how adults, in the twilight of their working lives, are taking time out to travel. This is consistent with what we see with some of our clients.
So, what is driving this trend? According to an article in the Telegraph on the 13th July this year, for those who no longer work, and whose children are doing their own thing, there’s never been a better time to explore the world. A time to see places they’ve always wanted to visit, but never had the time, opportunity or wherewithal before.
A gap year or a sabbatical however, is not just exclusive to those who have finished work. We have encouraged a number of clients recently to ‘down tools’ and take a break, sometimes with the encouragement of their employers, particularly for those who have achieved long service.
More often than not though, it is an event such as redundancy which is a catalyst for extended travel and, unfortunately, sometimes it’s a crisis around health or the loss of someone close. When something adverse happens, it certainly places matters into perspective.
Part of our role as financial planners is to model various scenarios and to explore possibilities.
Taking control of your finances delivers peace of mind and provides choices. Increasingly we are modelling gap years and extend breaks for our clients – some choosing to be away for many months (the things people do to get away from the Brexit shenanigans!). Planning has given them the confidence to ‘live in the moment’ and not be concerned that they may be spending too much. Pension freedoms have undoubtedly helped, delivering greater choice, especially as those who are aged 55 can access tax free cash. Planning your finances properly opens the doors to many opportunities.
I love the sentiment of Jo Carroll who wrote a book about her travels entitled ‘over the hill and far away’.
Should you? Shouldn’t you? Can you really?
Jo states: “the most difficult thing about taking a Gap Year is that first decision to go. We are, naturally, more cautious than young people who can sling rucksacks on their backs and head for the airport. A thousand reasons why you ‘cannot’ may plague you. Underneath them is that little voice that persists in telling you that you can. Give that voice some air, and you’ll find the decision easier”.
In essence, financial planning delivers confidence, it enables you to explore possibilities and allows you to be excited about the future.