Let’s be clear...this Isn’t Your Parents’ Retirement.
Times have changed from when your parents were planning their golden years. You may have memories of them retiring with full pensions and few other investments. Those who retired in the 80’s faced high interest rates, much the opposite of the market today.
Increased longevity and better health means today’s retirees are likely to live another 30 years, double the expectation after retirement for those born in the Depression era. And Colorado cities consistently rank highest life expectancies in the country—making Colorado a great place for active seniors.
Your Working Years
Your working years have been characterized by a culture that rewarded personal drive. The job market has allowed you to change employers easily over your lifetime and receive salary increases as your career progressed. Unlike your parents, you saved for retirement and have big plans to travel and maintain the lifestyle you have created.
All of these factors make now a great time to anticipate retirement.
With more active years to plan for, and more impetus on the individual to manage their income, retirement can look very different from person to person.
Today’s retirement can mean moving to another country, taking to the road in an RV, or buying a second home in a warmer climate. You may start a side hustle, take up painting like you’ve always wanted to, or see few changes to your routine as you continue working with causes that are meaningful to you.
There is no cookie-cutter retirement plan.
How Does Perspective Change with Age
Perspective also shifts as you move from middle years into later years.
So while you have always dreamed of traveling cross country in retirement, you may find that when the day comes, you prefer to stay put and be near young grandchildren.
Your priorities may realign, or you could look at the world differently when your day is no longer dictated by an employer.
You might be surprised at the emotional changes that guide your decisions. You may welcome the psychological freedom to let go of things that used to bring you stress. The following are some common perspective changes—see if you already recognize some of these in your own life.
In your middle life:
- You tend to spend more time feeling stressed about work. You measure your position in life by external accomplishments and your status relative to your peers. Your emphasis is on making money, getting ahead, and performing. Your job is a high priority, and you keep that iPhone by your side. Young kids also require your focus, and you want to prepare them to do their best in an increasingly complex world.
- It’s important to you to appear confident, together, knowledgeable. You look for answers and make confident decisions at work. You present your best self.
- The future seems distant. You do worry about it sometimes, but it’s nebulous. You feel confident that you’ll have time to face that later. You put off thinking about it because aging is scary and negative
In your later years:
- You care less about everyone else’s agenda. You choose your own path, but at the same time, you are less inwardly-focused and spend more time considering the greater good.
- You don’t have anything to prove. You don’t have to know all the answers, and may find yourself better able to handle ambiguity and spontaneity.
- The future is now, and you can make it whatever you want. You can enjoy grandchildren and send them home. You can rest. You adjust to managing your day to day.
When most people are asked about their goals for retirement, they will respond that they want to be happy, healthy, and financially secure. But they may not have put much thought into the practical “hows” they plan to execute to create this reality. The path to reaching these standards is as different as the interpretation of these words to each person.
To maximize your chance for a successful retirement, you need to get specific about what will make you feel happy, healthy and financially secure.
Want to know where you stand on the path to your ideal retirement? Curious what it will take to get you there?
A great place to start is with this quick 3-Minute Retirement Readiness Survey to help you analyze the four primary retirement lifestyles around financial planning.
I’m eager to hear what you learn and to provide guidance in the next steps when you are ready to start the adventure of planning for the rest of your life.