From Retirement Now Newsletter August 12th 2021
One thing I’m hearing more about from people in my immediate circle is employer mandated vaccines. In fact, some people close to retirement are even considering an early retirement because they don’t want to get the jab.
But it’s not just people that are near retirement.
I recently had a friend of mine close to my age, in other words far away from retirement, call me up about this same issue. He’s now on the search for health insurance options because his employer is almost certainly going to require a vaccine. So he’s getting his ducks in a row to make his escape if necessary since he personally feels the vaccine is not something he wants put in his body.
And some employers are not officially mandating the vaccine.
Instead they are planning on making life very uncomfortable for those that stay unvaccinated. Such as requiring them to be tested multiple times a week (get a jab in the arm or else you get jabbed up your nostril with a swab throughout the week) or not allowing them to travel for work related activities.
But it also goes the other way…
In an article from Financial Advisor Magazine titled “Vaccine-Mandated Retirements Are Here” the writer tells the story of an employee who was considering quitting if their employer didn’t require vaccines, saying:
“I’ve got cancer, so if my employer doesn’t require vaccines soon, I’ll take an early retirement like that.”
My two cents?
I say let each individual decide what is the best choice for their situation.
Let individuals do the risk return analysis of whether they think it’s right for them, depending on if they are a high risk person from a health stand point, or if they perceive being vaccinated could help others that they interact with who are high risk.
Or they may just want more time to pass and research done on the vaccine before getting it.
Or any other factors that may be applicable to their personal situation that I haven’t thought of here.
This vaccine mandate controversy is just another example of something that has been going on for a long, long time…
People are often forced into retirement by unforeseen circumstances.
The article continues:
“To start, we know a number of factors are contributing to early, sudden or forced retirement. Teachers are struggling with technology and digital classrooms; first responders are grappling with additional scrutiny and public cries to defund them; and now many federal, state and even private sector employees are facing mandatory vaccines with limited exceptions and stringent testing.”
This doesn’t even include other factors that for a long time have forced people into early retirement such as, declining health, layoffs, government shut downs, need to take care of a sick relative, having responsibility to raise grandkids forced on them, and more.
That’s why it’s so important to be as ready as possible for retirement, because it may be forced on you.
But with retirement planning it’s not just a numbers game. Although it is important to understand how much you need to have saved to generate the income withdrawals from your savings to sustain you the rest of your life without running out of money.
But you also need to think about how you are going to replace your time.
The article continues:
“Again, not many people think about time replacement as a major factor in a retirement decision, especially when it’s tied to work friendships. However, if a client’s decision to retire is due to Covid-related frustration and causes a rift with some co-workers, even those with whom they spent only a few hours a week communicating, there is now a void that needs to be replaced, and that’s not easy to do.”
In short, how do you replace these friendships in retirement, and what will you do with your time if you don’t have as many people to hang out with?
I’d recommend thinking about the “co-worker friend replacement” issue regardless of vaccine mandates (or anything else) causing rifts in relationships.
I’m not sure how many former co-workers continue to be close friends after they quit working together.
Maybe “close friendships” last, but I imagine the “get together” time goes waaaaay down.
I remember many years ago when I was switching to a different church congregation. I had friends at the one I was leaving, and I would make new friends at the one I was going to. But I assumed I’d continue seeing my friends from the old church even after switching.
One man at the old church, who was many years my elder, told me “We all think we’ll keep close relationships when we leave. But what happens is you go to the new church, make new friends, then those new friends fill up your schedule. Eventually, you hardly ever see the old people on a close “let’s get together and hang out” basis because you’re too busy with the new people in your life. And that’s totally ok.”
And he was right.
I suspect something similar happens to co-worker relationships when most people quit work.
That’s why I think it’s important to consider beforehand what your calendar will look like in retirement, and what organizations you will be involved in that will give you access to friendships.
If that’s important to you.
Anyway, that’s one hugely important issue to consider before retiring (or even if you’re already retired).
And that’s in addition to the importance of getting answers to the financial foundational questions like, “How much money will I need down the road?” “How will I know when I’ve saved enough?” “How do I make sure I don’t run out of money in retirement?”
We can help you get those answers. Click here to book a 15-minute chat.