Tuesday, 15 May 2018
What contributes to satisfaction in retirement? It certainly isn’t just finances. Completing the retirement equation means talking about and striving for fulfillment, happiness, and satisfaction in retirement.
Preparing for social and emotional issues that may arise during your retirement can be uncomfortable to consider and discuss. Many people feel embarrassed to talk about their unhappiness when they retire – they have saved for a comfortable life, they have free time, they have met their financial goals, and yet there is something missing. People usually don’t talk about it because they feel like they’re supposed to be happy.
The truth is “winning” at retirement isn’t just about how much money you have saved, it is about how you decide to fill your days, what you want to do with your time and discovering the things that make you feel happy – fulfilled. Here are some of the things that may contribute to dissatisfaction with retirement and ways that you can face and cope with them proactively.
When it comes to financial planning, we spend a lot of time talking with our clients about what they want their financial legacy to be. Beyond the money and assets, they will leave to their family and charities they care about, we often discuss how that legacy will be used and what financial philosophies they will leave behind.
For example, clients may have misgivings about leaving substantial assets to their children for fear it will spoil them, encourage a poor work ethic, or give them a sense of entitlement. When it comes to giving to charities, our clients often want to make sure their funds are being used for the causes and purposes that are meaningful to them and that they are making the right types of gifts that will make a lasting impact.
These concerns and questions are significant, and careful planning, as well as good communication, go a long way in making your legacy impactful and purposeful.
You have seen it a thousand times: “We help you reach your financial goals.” It is the tagline for the majority of financial advisors. And before you say to yourself, “Well Kathy, we have seen you use those exact words too.”, I will fully disclose that I am as guilty as the next guy or gal. We use it all the time. But it got me thinking about the relationships that we have with our clients and what financial goals planning really means. When we ask people what their goals are we are often given pretty broad answers that don’t quite get to the heart of the situation, much less provide enough information to set an action plan. Answers like, “I want to retire comfortably.”, “I want to save enough to leave money to my kids or to charity.”, or “I want to make sure that what we’re doing is right for the long-term.” are pretty common, but we strive to dig deeper.
A great deal of emphasis is placed on saving for retirement--as it should be. It is probably one of the most important long-term investments you will make in your life. But what is not discussed as frequently or in as much detail is how people withdraw money from their retirement savings accounts and other investments.
It is not a cut and dry process, as taking from one pot could cost you more than withdrawing from a different one. In fact, a study by Vanguard Research states that an effective withdrawal strategy can add up to 1.1% of annualized value without taking more risk.1 Withdrawing money to responsibly fund your retirement years takes discipline and some knowledge that may not be obvious to a lot of retirees. This article provides a breakdown of the basics so you can be better positioned to enjoy your retirement once you are ready.