Advice from a Real Retirement Expert: Retirees

Financial Planners

A financial planner shares some experiences his clients have had as they left their careers

I am a retired student. I have had the privilege of working with many excellent instructors on my way to earning an MBA and becoming a Certified Financial Planner. But some of my greatest teachers are retirees I’ve befriended or mentored over the years.

Think twice before packing up and moving to another location. Think about what you leave behind in the excitement of moving forward. | Credit: Alina Autumn

They have the best retirement advice, from the practical to the boring. Lucky for me (and now for you), those with experience will be happy to share. Privacy regulations forbid us from revealing their real names and locations, but here’s what they say:

love at first sight

When you first meet her, you may not realize that she was widowed towards the end of her teaching career, had to let go of the life she had built with her husband, and re-plan her retirement all over again. . “Her first stage was difficult,” she admitted. “Everyone seemed like part of a couple.”

“I never thought I would love my retirement life so much!”

Over time, she felt ready to meet new people and even explored different places to live, renting for a month at a time in several attractive neighborhoods. She felt that the idea of ​​community was a great way to make new friends and still have a home of her own.

Carol settled into an active community of 55+ and started playing pickleball. “I never thought I would love her post-retirement life so much!” she said.

think again

“Don’t get me wrong, retirement is a good thing, but it’s a reality.” no It’s a challenge,” Jerry, who recently retired, confessed, “I took a break from work.”

“I miss my routine and camaraderie.”

When I asked him for an explanation, he said: Liked The challenge and comfort of having a place to go every day. “I didn’t think he would really miss out,” he said. “Looking back, I loved my job more than I thought I would. I think I chose the perfect career.”

“I’m ready to go back to work!” said John, another indifferent retiree, after 10 years of leisure. He was very happy to retire at 60 and he and his wife were traveling and having fun with his grandchildren. John said he felt he was ready to quit his job when he retired and he was financially planning for the next phase. Still, at 70, he was ready to work. “I miss my routine and my friendships,” he said.

“There needs to be a time limit for retirement, so it will be a suitable job for someone of my experience and age to return to,” he mused.

the magic of retirement

For Maureen and her husband, a magical retirement age was anything but simple. She retired at the age of 67, just as the couple had hoped. But even with a mutually agreed upon succession plan and funding to enjoy life, Steve couldn’t let go of his business.

“Be prepared to be flexible, even if it’s a long-held dream.”

Despite Maureen’s encouragement, subsequent setbacks, and justified anger at his refusal to quit the business, he held on tight. She felt he had unilaterally broken a mutual retirement agreement and accused her of “ruining my retirement.”

After years of arguments, therapy, and heartfelt conversations, the longtime couple finally made new plans. They take her longer three- to five-week vacations together on each trip, enjoying time with each other’s company and visiting all the places that were discussed in their retirement plans.

When they get home, he goes back to work. She admits that this isn’t what she (or them) envisioned, but she accepts that she can’t change someone who doesn’t want change.

“Be prepared to be flexible, even if it’s a long-held dream,” Maureen said.

think twice before you move

“If you want to live somewhere else, rent first. And remember what you’re leaving behind in the excitement of moving forward.” Good advice I learned from

“If you want to live somewhere else, rent it first.”

While preparing to retire from their medical partnership in Michigan, Sam and his wife traveled to Florida, where they found and quickly purchased a home. He quickly left the business and began enjoying his new home in The Village, a retirement community in northwest Orlando. Meanwhile, she’s been bouncing between Florida and Michigan during her last few years working at a big tech company. The arrival of the novel coronavirus gave her a reason to work from home in Florida.

The warm weather was attractive, but they acted too quickly. His impending retirement made him feel the need to act. But less than a year later, they wanted to be closer to their home in Michigan, to their grandchildren and aging mother.

Sam’s advice for future retirees? “Even if you have the money, don’t jump right in,” he said.

They found a new home by the lake near the children and their mother. “Grandchildren love to come and play. I can help her mother if she needs it,” she said. “Florida is now a vacation place, not a place where we live. And we love it that way.”

changing relationship

“I never thought I would live this long,” said the healthy 75-year-old Thomas. “I’m happy to have a family, but all my friends are sick or worse.”

“I never thought I would live this long.”

Health professionals recognize that social isolation is a health risk associated with aging. Illness, divorce, and death all contribute to the loneliness felt by many older adults. According to a 2020 Pew Research report, 27% of Americans over the age of 60 live alone, and older Americans are more likely than older people in other parts of the world to live alone. I found out.

For Thomas, the breakdown of his marriage late in life—what his lawyers call a “grey divorce”—reconciled his planned retirement.

medical problems

It’s not uncommon for people to tell financial planners, “I have the time and money to travel, but my health is deteriorating rapidly.”

People over the age of 65 are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic diseases. Many older people face multiple such diseases. There are good reasons why these diseases are called big messes.

“Tell people to travel as much as possible…. Good health doesn’t last forever.”

“Physical health has a huge impact on retirement planning,” says Karen. “Tell people to travel as much as they can, even before their retirement date. Good health doesn’t last forever.”

hobbies and activities

Roger was financially prepared for retirement. He knew what he loved to do: “flyfish and woodworking.” He fully stocked his lumber shop before his retirement and updated his fishing gear with the latest and greatest that the sector has to offer.

He came to see me two years after he retired. “What about fishing?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “I gave up.”

He had started taking pilot lessons. “Tell people that his tastes will change when he retires.”

“My hobby will change after I retire.”

Medicare and medical costs

“We are reasonably healthy, but we still pay too much for medical bills,” Mary and Bert once told me, shaking their heads in agreement. “I need hearing aids and dental work,” Bert says. “It adds up quickly.” Sure they add up quickly, but Medicare doesn’t cover them.

“I thought at least my glasses would be free when I retired,” Mary paused, adding, “Medical insurance is expensive.”

Thankfully they have the funds to purchase additional coverage for such a common item, but I hope the money can be used as planned, i.e. for “additional fees” or donations to grandchildren. increase.

an introvert’s dream

Betty is an introvert and retirement suits her perfectly. “I love not having to go somewhere every day,” she said. “I still see my friends in the community for life, but I still have time for sewing, writing, and birdwatching.” No need,” he added.

She is lucky enough to receive a defined benefit pension from her former employer, which she admits. “From a financial point of view, she has worked for an agency that provides pensions, and I admit that made it easier,” she said. “I know how much money comes in every month. I own my own house and live simply.”

retirement is full of surprises

“Our lives have turned around. I have no regrets, but some days will be really hard. I’d rather go on a cruise with my friends than prepare dinner for two middle schoolers.”

Sally and Joshua adopted two grandchildren. Now they are raising a second family. they are not alone. The RAND Corporation study found many factors that make grandparents more likely to raise their grandchildren, including mental illness, substance abuse, imprisonment and death.

Retiring soon? Talk to people who have already taken that step. Keep your retirement expectations realistic. Above all, embrace opportunities for new experiences.

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