This month’s post is the first in a series focused on retirement. A word of caution: this series may challenge — and hopefully change — the way you and your clients think about preparing for retirement. Let’s start with how you think about retirement and position that perspective through a new lens. You won’t need binoculars or even a calculator, just an open mind to think about your clients’ retirement future.
Here is the question: When someone sets out to climb a mountain, what is typically the goal? Think for a minute. If you ask your clients they will usually respond, “To get to the top, of course!” While this is not incorrect, the answer should really be to make it to the top of the mountain and to make it safely back down.
Now, think about preparing for retirement using the mountain climbing example. Through all of your years of employment, you are working and adding value with your employer while also saving and spending. The problem facing people today is that we have not saved and invested enough on our way up the mountain (during the accumulation phase), but we still want to enjoy the lifestyle we have grown accustomed to on the way down the mountain.
Ironically, the fear among many retiring Americans is not dying too soon, but rather living too long. Many today are outliving their money, which is posing significant challenges in their retirement years. We also see many retirees working part-time jobs to provide supplemental income. While this is not something many of us want to think about, it is a reality we need to understand.