This Insights article was submitted by Rob Penn, President and Wealth Advisor.
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, with over 27 years of working with retirees, I feel like I have seen it all. It is surprisingly common how often I see people return to work within six months of retiring, and their reasons are usually not based on financial security. Thoughts and emotions related to a changing identity may drive former career-focused individuals back to the working world.
My father retired after 29 years with the federal government; his job was moving from Virginia to Michigan and he had a choice of retirement or move, and he chose the former. I remember a phone call with him a few months after his retirement, when I asked with excitement what he was doing now that he’s retired. He responded angrily, “You don’t know what it’s like to be retired… it’s not what everyone says!” I realized he lost his identity, purpose, and daily socialization when he left his career. To him, retirement felt more like a punishment than a hard-earned goal. Fortunately, he started taking classes and went to work as a tax preparer, like he did in his first job, and found a new sense of fulfillment.
For this reason, some folks plan to work forever; however, approximately 34 percent of individuals retire unexpectedly due to personal health problems. With that in mind, I encourage all my clients to consider possible plans for retirement.
Retirement planning is a process that should start well before your last day is approaching on the calendar, and it involves a lot more than just crunching your retirement numbers.
To gain more experience on the transition into retirement, I attended a seminar exclusively for financial advisors, to assist in their own transition to retirement. Although these financial advisors were all economically able to retire, they too needed help with the lifestyle change. All attendees were required to complete a questionnaire and the results report was organized into six sections: Career & Work, Health & Wellness, Finance & Insurance, Family & Relationships, Leisure & Social, and Personal Development. The report graded our preparedness in each section, highlighting areas where we had already made significant strides in our planning, and areas where we need to sharpen our focus.
The most illuminating outcome helped me discover other possibilities of interest to pursue during retirement, either as an activity or second career. Fifty percent of retirees work during retirement, either full- or part-time, and many are doing something totally different than their lifelong careers. It’s often said that we stop dreaming after high school and college, but retirement can give you the time to follow your dreams again or chase new ones. My hope is that my clients act on this enlightenment, as I have seen that most of us are slow to change and easily become complacent.
For those who are uncertain about calling it quits, I suggest testing the waters and going part-time. Several clients were able to go from 40 to 30 hours per week initially, and after a few years cut back to 20 hours before making the decision to fully retire. This approach gave them the necessary time to pursue other interests and learn how they will like to fill their newfound free time. I have seen retirees find new passions and become much happier than they were when they were working.
Whether you are looking forward to your dream retirement lifestyle, or you are unsure how you want to pursue your post-career future, I encourage everyone to meet with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to discuss the financial and lifestyle changes that come with retirement. At Pathfinder Wealth Consulting we are passionate about our comprehensive financial planning process that will give you a full picture of your financial future and will answer many questions you may have about the lifestyle changes as well. Please visit our website for more information or call us at 910-793-0616 for more information. We are here to guide you forward.
4018 Oleander Dr, Suite 102, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 910.793.0616 office | 910.793.0617 fax | www.pwcpath.com
Advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, a Registered Investment Adviser.
Jason Wheeler is currently the CEO and a Wealth Consultant at Pathfinder Wealth Consulting. Pathfinder specializes in comprehensive financial, estate and tax planning services, investment management, and risk management (insurance) for business owners and successful executives. Jason Wheeler offers securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network®. Member FINRA, SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. To learn more about Pathfinder Wealth Consulting, visit www.pwcpath.com. Jason can be reached at [email protected] or 910-793-0616.
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