“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”
– Will Rogers
Do you always feel like you’re in a hurry? You hurry to the office in the morning and hurry home at night. You hurry to a vacation destination only to rush to see all the sights. We even hurry towards our retirement, and — with any luck — retirement gives us an opportunity to pause and enjoy the rewards of our efforts.
For my parents’ generation, the reward of retirement was short-lived. Working 40 to 50 hours per week until age 65, many seniors of past generations retired with a modest financial plan based on Social Security and their employer’s meager benefits. The joy of retirement lasted only a few short years before declining health led them to a nursing home and the end of their lives. From a view of 10,000 feet, it is clear they followed a straight line of education, career, children and then a brief retirement.
Seniors today are much more fortunate. With the expectation of a longer lifespan, baby boomers can enjoy their retirement years through a greater mix of work and life. No longer forced to follow the same linear path as their parents, baby boomers are discovering their own path — a path filled with greater possibilities.
Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., futurist, author and president of Age Wave, refers to the expectation of an active and vibrant life 20 to 30 years after retirement age as the “longevity bonus.” These bonus years open up a world of opportunities to seniors. After spending half of their adult lives hurrying to plan and save for retirement, they now find themselves free to pursue their dreams.
According to Dychtwald, boomers want to be active and connected members of society, reinvent themselves and have the freedom to pursue the lifestyle they desire. In doing so, boomers are encouraging us to retire our old concepts of retirement. It’s no longer a few quiet years of relaxing in a rocking chair. Now it’s trading a career for a passion, donating time to a charitable organization, or sailing around the world.
As your senior clients hurry off to pursue their retirement dreams, take a moment to ensure they’re ready. With new adventures and increasing life expectancies also comes the possibility of increasing risk. They have spent their working lives “hurrying” towards this goal — make sure that through life insurance, health insurance, critical care insurance and long-term care insurance, they have protected the dreams they have already achieved and even the ones they will attain through retirement.
We cannot promise smooth sailing as our clients navigate the different cycles of life, but we can equip them with the knowledge and resources they’ll need to stay afloat.