FA Magazine July/August 2021 - Page 32

Robert Laura

Right Way Retirement

Don ’ t come up short of the right materials when building a retirement house for your clients and yourself .


WAS UPDATING A BEDROOM CLOSET AT OUR COTTAGE AND I CUT the final board a couple of inches too short . Immediately , I began to rationalize the idea that the board would work fine because no one would see it unless they were standing all the way inside the closet and it wouldn ’ t affect the area where the hangers and such would go .
While cutting a new board would be a slight pain , I decided to do what any wise man would do : I called my wife . I walked her through the situation and my rationale for using the short board . She thought about it for a second and said , “ It ’ s OK . It will be fine .” I agreed , but asked again , “ Are you sure ?” She was slow to respond and I was hesitant to break the silence because we were both thinking the same thing : “ Do it the right way .” So we did ! We took the extra time and put in the additional effort to make it right .
This same concept is important to retirement planning , because too often people find ways to rationalize their retirement decision when everything may not be right . They may be the right age , have the right amount of money , but they can come up short in other areas .
For financial professionals , that means knowing what it takes for people to get retirement right and finish strong . In other words , we can ’ t send people into retirement with the idea that it will be fine or OK , only for them to see a problem once they are fully retired . We have to be ahead of the curve , and unfortunately most advisors aren ’ t .
I realize that ’ s not a very welcoming message . (“ Hey ! You don ’ t know what
We can ’ t send people into retirement with the idea that it will be fine or OK , only for them to see a problem once they are fully retired . you need to know about retirement .”) But if someone doesn ’ t call you out and nudge you in a new direction , how will we get there as a profession ? So I ’ ll be the bad guy and tell you that getting retirement right means helping people plan beyond the dollars and cents . More than 80 % of what it takes to successfully retire has nothing to do with money , yet most firms focus almost 100 % on the financial side of things .
What I have found is that retirees who made a good transition have found a way to accomplish six distinct things . They have : 1 . Replaced their work identity ; 2 . Filled their time with meaningful tasks ; 3 . Stayed relevant and connected ; 4 . Kept mentally and physically active ; 5 . Expressed their spiritual beliefs ; and 6 . Felt financially secure . The more of those things that are checked off in retirement , the greater level of satisfaction a retiree will feel . Furthermore , retirees who go into retirement with a plan or specific strategies to accomplish all six will feel satisfied much sooner . Typically when people have their money right but not the other more personal factors , they waste the first three to five years trying to figure it all out . Financial security is important . But people often find out too late that they would likely give all the money they ’ ve saved in exchange for the knowledge they had family , friends , good health and more time .