Listen to this article
You have worked hard, built a successful career and raised a family — so what about your next act?
How to get the most out of later life is the question this brand new section of FT.com is seeking to address — although we fully appreciate there are as many answers as we have readers.
Although it is hard to define the precise age that this transition starts to happen, our aim is to inspire your thinking and help you, or your parents, to plan for all aspects of the next stage of your life.
To say that Next Act is just for the over-60s would miss the point. Financial advisers tell me they see a large uptick of clients in their 40s and 50s, typically because a landmark birthday or an inheritance jolts them into sorting out their financial affairs.
Yet retirement, in the traditional sense, is not the answer for everyone. It is increasingly common for people to continue working into their 60s, 70s and beyond — not because they need to, but because they want to.
I know full well from meeting thousands of readers at FT events and that you feel later life presents great opportunities — time for a change of direction. This could be a new career, a new business opportunity or a new way of working given the rise of the “portfolio career”.
Your success also means you can afford to do something different.
This could involve taking a risk, like starting your own business. Or, like FT columnist Lucy Kellaway, that “risk” could involve giving back to society — in her case, teaching maths in an inner-London school.
Equally, you may be thinking about selling your business and devoting your energies to other projects — maybe building your dream home.
You may have philanthropic desires, wish to start your own foundation or simply spend more of your time helping the charities you care about.
Of course, taking a step back from the rat race gives us more of that rare and precious commodity — time.
Throughout this year, Next Act will present an invaluable guide to the best festivals, exhibitions and events for lovers of the arts.
Travelling the parts of the world you have yet to see is also high on many people’s priority lists. The Next Act will bring you top travel writing covering the best destinations, what to do when you get there and what you need to know before you go.
Living well for longer also involves investing time in your health and wellbeing. This is topic we will explore through the experience of others and the lens of new technologies which are helping older people live their lives to the full.
The most pertinent questions for those of us approaching retirement are often financial ones. How much is enough to retire comfortably; what is the best investment strategy; what are the tax traps to avoid and how best to leave a legacy to our loved ones. These are all topics you will be hearing more about.
The Next Act is the part of FT.com that you can regularly visit to receive inspiration from the FT’s best writers and contributors — many of whom are in their sixth or seventh decade themselves. We will also pull in relevant content from across the FT which is free to read.
And we also want to hear from you. The FT will bring the debate to life with regular Facebook Live video, debates on ft.com/nextact and a dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org through which you can contact our editorial team with your feedback and ideas.
So without further ado — it is time to start planning your Next Act.
Claer Barrett is the FT’s personal finance editor, and editor of the Next Act