Retirement-What Do I Do Now?

Paul Morrone |

The definition of what retirement means today to many people is drastically different than just one generation ago? In my opinion, the generation of my parents had a more specific definition when envisioning what retirement would be like. The typical scenario for them was to work to age 65, retire and begin collecting your Social Security benefits. Many companies from that era also had pension plans that were company funded retirement benefits that the retired employee would receive in addition to their Social Security. That type of company paid benefit is pretty much a thing of the past.  Anyway, the retired individual then had time to do some projects around the house, travel and just relax. That was then but this is now. At age 65 some individuals are forced to retire or have the luxury to choose to retire. In any event, many people say “What do I do now”?

We are a healthier generation and our longevity has increased. It has been said that 70 is the new 60, 60 is the new 50…..well you get it. I say the same holds true in that 65 is the new 55. At age 65, many people are in the prime of the careers and love what they do and retirement is not a thought in their minds. For many, retirement is not an option for financial reasons. On the other hand, many can’t wait to walk out the door from their job and never look back. Others start complete new careers. For some it is about working just enough to keep the mind active and not about the money. Retirement for some creates consulting and entrepreneurial opportunities that were never available when in the 9 – 5 mode. Then there are those that do what they want, with whom they want for as long as they want. The grand children now become the focal point for many as well. Let’s not forget golf, fishing, tennis and travel. The list goes on and on. The point of all this is that sitting on the couch with a remote control in hand and watching daytime TV is not what I picture when trying to envision someone retiring today.

We regularly meet with retirees or those pondering retirement. Of course we go through all the financial what if scenarios to see if retirement is viable and discuss alternatives. For the retiree category, we often hear that they are so busy in retirement that they have no idea how they had time to work. For married couples it is a time to reconnect. My favorite line that I heard in our conference room was by a wife who said to her husband, “I married you for richer or poorer, not breakfast, lunch and dinner”! You gotta love it.

There are many things in life that I do not know. There also are many things in life that I do know. It can also be said that I do not know what I do not know. The one thing I do know for sure is when I retire there will be no remote control in this guy’s hand. By the way, I do not plan on “retiring” any time too soon. I am fortunate in that I love what I do. I thoroughly enjoy who I work with every day and most importantly I love the clients. The clients are what make work fun.

So, what is your vision of retirement?

Until The Next Tom’s Take…