The Changing Landscape of Retirement Planning

Most often, our clients approaching retirement age are not considering a traditional retirement at all.  Instead, they plan to transition to a different phase – or phases – of their lives, often seeking to do something different, exciting, and enjoyable.   They believe this approach will keep them young, mentally healthy, and with a sense of purpose.

A number of recent books advocate this new philosophy of retirement.  Two of the best are “What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement,” by John Nelson and Richard Bolles, and “The New Retirementality,” by Mitch Anthony.   Rather than focus on the traditional view of retirement – stopping work and living a life full of leisure – the authors focus on retirees creating ideal lives for themselves.

In the past, some advertising and various books sought to motivate people to plan for retirement with basic scare tactics:  “Will you be able to afford retirement?”   “You can’t depend on your pension.”   “Social Security is going away.” 

The new approach motivates people to plan for a very positive purpose – to support a new and usually different lifestyle, one of their own choosing.  This is likely to be more effective, especially in terms of keeping people committed to a plan to achieve their personal goals.

Of course, different people have different interests, plans and goals, which means retirement plans must be individually tailored to help them meet their objectives.   I’ll look at Thorley Wealth Management’s approach in the next blog.