Retirement Planning: A Holistic Approach

As part of our commitment to continual learning, advisors often participate in events designed to sharpen our skills and keep updated with what’s new. Tracy recently attended the InvestmentNews Retirement Income Summit Virtual Event. Tim sat down with Tracy afterwards to interview her about this 4-day event.

Tim: What was your biggest take away from the event?

Tracy: The emphasis on retirement planning becoming more holistic. Instead of concentrating only on retirement assets, we need to remember that retirement planning is about purpose, health, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.

Tim: How does this insight change how clients are thinking about retirement?

Tracy: While the financial piece is very important in fulfilling retirement goals, there is more to it than numbers and returns. It’s also vital to visualize and identify what life will be like in retirement. What does retirement look like for me? Will I volunteer or work a part-time job because I found something I love to do? Spend more time with family? Travel? Sometimes people retire from something without considering what they will retire to.

Tim: You mentioned purpose. What does that mean to a retiree and how can someone plan to address it?

Tracy: It’s about you, your family, your priorities at each stage of life, and fulfilling your passion in this new season. What motivates you? What makes you excited to get up in the morning and get moving? Maybe you’ll transition from a 40-year career to pursuing a new passion. It’s also about looking forward: you could find yourself caring for an elderly parent or facing uncertain health care expenses yourself.

Tim: If someone is having a difficult time imagining what they will do in retirement, how would you recommend taking the first steps in planning for that time?

Tracy: It’s good to start with some goals, focusing on priorities. What I’ve observed while working with those in retirement is that it’s good to stay active, focusing on mental, physical, and even spiritual well-being. Studies show that the average retiree in the US watches over 40 hours of TV per week which is shocking to me: essentially they replaced their full-time job with TV. But if retirement planning is going to be more holistic, then they also need to keep moving and keep active as best they can in this new season.

Tim: Besides saving enough to provide for living expenses in retirement, what are some other things to prepare for?

Tracy: Again I think it goes back to priorities. What are priorities in my budget? (Do I have a budget?) Are we going to relocate, remodel or purchase a home? Is my estate in order? Assuming we live longer, what unexpected health care costs might come along and should we look at Long-Term Care Insurance? What will inflation do to my retirement plan?

Hopefully we’ve given you some questions to think about, with your holistic retirement plan in mind. We are here to help you piece together your information, your goals, and your concerns. If you would like some guidance building your unique retirement plan, please contact your advisor.

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