For most generations, retirement has long been considered a leisure-filled “destination” that professionals reach after decades of hard work. However, it’s becoming clear that retirement in the 21st century is less about reaching retirement and more “about the journey” through it once you’re there. How prepared are you to enjoy your retirement journey?
Research continues to show that many retirees are living longer and remaining engaged in a variety of activities during retirement; in fact, when building retirement plans, some advisors now calculate clients’ life expectancy to reach 100 years. That means we at The Humphreys Group recommend our clients not only examine their fiscal strategies when thinking about retirement; we also encourage clients to take a fresh look at what they envision for themselves when they ease out of their workplace lives and professional responsibilities.
Since women still need to pay careful attention to the details of how they will afford a long-term retirement, we take a two-part approach when examining their journey.
First Look: Finances
Studies show women tend to retire earlier than men, may be less familiar with the “big picture” of family finances and may not have saved or invested as much for retirement as their male counterparts have. We initially advise women who are preparing for retirement to spend time on their financial plans by taking these steps:
- Assess savings, spending and debt
- Increase financial literacy and understand how best to diversify your portfolio(s)
- Research affordable health care options, since retirement can include a greater need for medical care
- Determine how and when to access retirement funds
What’s Next: Retirement’s Fun Factor
Once clients have made their financial considerations, we support their plans to fully engage in their journey through their retirement years by asking questions such as:
What skills and abilities would you like to sustain and share after retiring? We prompt clients to consider teaching, mentoring or volunteering in their professional field(s) so they can pass along well-earned knowledge and experience to younger professionals in their networks.
What activities and interests would you like to renew or explore in retirement? With the time and freedom that come with retirement, we encourage women to feel empowered to expand their boundaries of what they want to do. What do they dream of? Clients make plans that include traveling, taking classes or working part-time to earn supplemental income as they explore fields that reflect their personal (not professional!) interests.
How will you commit to an active lifestyle in retirement? While keeping each individual’s unique abilities in mind, we support our clients’ steps to embrace and engage in activities that bolster their physical health, mental fitness and social connections as they age.
Like many aspects of modern life and work, today’s retirement experiences look and feel different from those of previous generations. Following years of dedication to their professional lives, women in particular stand to experience retirement in exciting and innovative ways. Our advisors work to ensure our clients are prepared to reach that destination with both financial security and the ability to enjoy the journey through retirement for years to come. Contact us if you have questions about your retirement plan or need a second opinion on your approach.
 Katie Robertson, “Why the World Needs to Rethink Retirement,” The New York Times, December 4, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/business/retirement/why-the-world-needs-to-rethink-retirement.html, accessed January 2019.