Which do you hear most at this time of year – “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Holidays”, “Happy New Year” or “I can’t believe how quickly another year has passed”? Time does seem to pass more quickly as we age. With the boomers reaching their retirement years an increasing number of us will be retiring soon. Most of us will move into retirement with some idea of the ideal way to spend our time. Those without a plan for their time, one that is integrated with financial planning, are increasing the likelihood that they will fail at retirement. Although the fear of running out of money is probably the top retirement concern, having enough money to fund your retirement may not guarantee a satisfying retirement. The way you spend your time must be meaningful to you.
Consider what our society will be facing if a significant number of boomer retirees become depressed or disengaged because they do not know how to use their time in retirement in a fulfilling way. Switching from being a fully engaged professional at work to a nearly idle retiree is a recipe for personal disaster. Stories you hear about people who ‘failed at retirement’ and returned to work after only a brief retirement are probably the result of little or no planning for their time. Even for those who insist they will never retire, the reality is that most do eventually retire. Work will end. Don’t let denial be your retirement plan.
Reframe how you think about time. In this season of giving you may need to figure out how to graciously accept the time you have been given. Financial advisors want to help ensure that you do not run out of money before you run out of time. In other words, longevity risk needs to be accounted for by planning for a long life span. However, a well-funded longer life can be daunting without meaning. You also need to create a fulfilling retirement lifestyle. There’s no refund on your time. Make planning for your time in retirement a core part of your financial plan.