Retirement Planning: Keep the Focus on These 5 Themes

Retirement is top of mind for your clients but are they thinking about the right areas that will direct their journey?

Most dictionary definitions of retirement focus on withdrawing, retreating, giving up, or stepping down. But none of these words capture the true essence of what retirement looks like today.

As we all know, retirement isn’t just about free time, money, investments, and possessions. It is helpful to focus on five common themes that will drive our experience: Lifestyle, Work, Health, Family, and Legacy.

Lifestyle includes your vision of retirement, living your values, and the goals you have for yourself and for your family. This category includes dynamic planning on how and where you spend your time and money to help ensure it brings fulfillment and lasts through the ages and stages of retirement.

Work extends beyond the day job you’ve had for years into what you want work to look like during retirement. Is it a second or third career, volunteer work, or perhaps a hobby taken full time? It’s about recognizing that “work” brings a lot more to the table than just financial stability.

Health has the largest influence over our lives — both good and bad. It also carries with it a fair amount of complexity. Understanding benefits, our attitude toward aging, taking care of ourselves, and appreciating how longevity and the rising cost of care are all related to proper planning. Health is the disruptor that can immediately impact and/or derail all other areas for planning.

Family is where the heart is. This area can be the most uncomfortable to plan for. It is centered on knowing, understanding, and planning for the impact your journey through retirement has on those around you, as well as planning for the unexpected. Family is where vulnerabilities are often exposed and roles and responsibilities shift and change over time. It’s about helping where you can and asking for help while keeping your dignity intact.

Legacy is another element some plan for too late, forgetting that it is about leaving our mark on the world now, sharing intentions, and passing on traditions instead of just stuff. It’s making sure transitioning your estate is well documented and up-to-date so you can reduce the burden of transfer. Legacy is how we continue to live when we are no longer here, while finding the balance between spending and giving freely and sacrificing your own pleasure to leave more behind.

To help you guide your clients through the multiple stages of what could be a 30-year journey, Loring Ward has developed a new presentation: “Retirement Redefined.” You can give this presentation to those you serve to help educate and inspire them to take control, avoid the confusion of common retirement misconceptions, and chart their course for a secure and dignified retirement.


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