One of my team was talking to a man who had just been made redundant – and not for the first time either. Two years after his employer had begged him to stay on for a couple of days a week rather than fully retire, he was told that his services were no longer required with just a week’s notice.
He was grumbling not because of the redundancy per se but because he “still had things to finish”. He felt loyal to the tasks he had started, the jobs still in hand, the customers and the colleagues he worked with.
As those listening in quickly reminded him, the “one week’s notice but pack your stuff up now and here’s the door” attitude showed that the company had diddle-squat loyalty to him. So he didn’t need to feel any loyalty to them!
Loyalty – fixed or flexible?
Loyalty is something that isn’t set in stone for life.
- We are probably loyal to our school – until we go to university.
- We are loyal to our work – until we change jobs
- We are loyal to our home town – until we move
- We are loyal to our spouse/partners – until we get divorced
That last point may sound cynical, but sadly for those marrying in 1995 and later, one in four marriages will end in divorce.
About the only example of non-family life-long loyalty is a dedicated football fan to their club, which often defies logic, expectation and the reality of expensive season tickets and looming relegation!
Even our dog Bruno is loyal to me until my wife comes home! (Yes, he has his favourites).
Shifting economic loyalty
I have recently moved house. We’ve only moved a little way from our former family home, but it already is affecting my loyalty in subtle ways. I now have a new choice of supermarkets within range. Shall I be loyal to my old one, or be loyal to my bank balance and find the best deals?
Let’s face it, supermarkets want us to be loyal because, according to a fascinating article by a loyalty scheme software company,
“Loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones through repeat purchases, larger cart sizes, and frequent upsells.”
So, I’ll be looking at what each retailer is offering me for being loyal – and then shop around!
How long have you been with your bank? I think many of us may have stuck with one bank as it used to be incredibly difficult to change from one to another. Not any more, and according to the MSE website, it can be highly profitable too. Banks are currently offering up to £200 to switch, and you can do it multiple times. Given the rate that bank branches are closing in my area, why should I be loyal to a bank that won’t be present in my community?
The same applies to all kinds of financial commitments that we might be hanging onto just because we’re an existing customer: phone and broadband providers, car and home insurance, ISAs, mortgages, pet insurance, travel companies, online stores, and (at least up until the deals dried up) energy suppliers. Deep down, I think we all know that loyalty can end up costing us over time. It is certainly not reciprocated.
Shifting loyalties in retirement
So, what has this got to do with retirement?
If your loyalty has been invested in your job, it may leave a big hole in your sense of belonging and purpose after retirement. Where does your loyalty lie now, beyond your loved ones and friends?
Here’s an idea: be loyal to your retirement plan.
When you plan your retirement, you’re making goals that in many ways require you to be loyal (or at least committed to doing). Commitment requires time and effort, but loyalty requires something a little more – passion.
A loyal women’s footie fan, for example, would have had to shell out almost €7750 to attend England’s first match in the Women’s World Cup in Australia this summer. You don’t spend that much on a single match unless you’re passionate!
- To have a purpose, you need to commit to doing something.
- To fully commit, you need to have passion.
So that’s why you need to plan ahead in retirement so that you commit to something that you can become passionate about and loyal towards.
If you volunteer for a charity, for example, you initially just commit your time. If it has a real purpose and you feel you are giving something back, you become more dedicated. As you become more engaged, you also become more loyal to the cause overall.
As the above examples show, modern loyalty is flexible – and with good reason. Any retirement plan is, by its very nature, a best guess at what you will want from retirement before you start it.
As you start your journey into and through retirement, you may find that your wants, needs and expectations change. So your retirement plan needs to change too. There is no point in being loyal to a plan that isn’t right for you. That’s the equivalent of paying your car renewal premium every year without checking if it’s the best deal for your age, your car, your mileage, or your location!
Passionate about retirement
I’ll say right now, I am loyal to my clients because I invest my time and energy into securing their future retirement. It’s what I’m passionate about. Overall, I am passionate about helping people enjoy a purposeful retirement.
So if you have a retirement plan in place already, great. If it’s working for you, brilliant. However, if it’s not, or the original plan has lost direction and focus, come and talk to me.
I offer 1 to 1 retirement coaching for you and also as a couple, so you can create a plan you’re happy with and works for you and you’re happy to stick with. And whilst I don’t have a frequent flyer or VIP discount card scheme, I do offer you the chance to invest time and effort into a comprehensive review of your retirement plan/s.
If that sounds good to you, contact me to book an appointment:
“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”