It seems more attention is being paid by the larger insurance and annuity companies to express concern over what activities will compose your life in retirement. Prudential worries about the happy and the sad things that have happened and will happen in your future. Met worries about the “ifs” that will undoubtedly occur as time goes on. Voya (formerly ING) now sees that people need to pay more attention to the money they set aside for retirement and not spend it now on fancy things. And others are now following suit.
Maybe they got the word that retirement isn’t just about the number you need when you hit sixty-five. Maybe it’s about more than that. Like what kind of life you will live in retirement, where you will live, what activities will consume your day when you don’t have to punch a clock and attend those painful meetings in the conference room.
Why have we not paid attention to these extremely important questions before? Probably because so many of us Baby Boomers are now “retiring.” And we don’t know what to do with the time. I overheard a woman yesterday telling a neighbor she retired a month ago and loves every minute of it. When he asked her what she does with her time, she paused and said she’d never been busier. He asked her what she did that kept her so busy, and she replied, “I’m spending a lot of time with my grandchildren and attending some painting classes.” I wanted to ask her what she will do when the grandchildren are in school full time and start wanting to spend time with their friends after school and competing in all their sports activities, but I didn’t.
As we know, retirement is not about the first few years when we can luxuriate in the freedom the status gives us. That feeling is fleeting. What is important is to design a life in retirement that encourages us to include all things so our lives are well-balanced and not dependent on circumstances to keep us “busy.” If you have not had a conversation about this with your advisor, please do so. Or call us. We’d be happy to develop a life plan.