If you’re accustomed to a two to three week vacation every year, that’s not what retirement, feels like. If that were true you’d spend your retirement monies like a drunken sailor and find yourself broke within five years of your retirement date. Retirement is more like weekends without children, where every day is a Saturday. Transitioning from working to retirement for most Baby Boomers is a traumatizing event because their personal identification has been in what they do and not who they are.
Believe it or not you can’t just golf everyday and be happy. You can’t just entertain yourself for the rest of your life by watching TV or movies eight to ten hours a day, seven days a week. Helping with grandchildren that live nearby can be an enterprise in itself, but that’s for their benefit, what about yours? You want to have a retirement plan that not only addresses your finances, but your passions. You may very well live into your nineties, but will you be living a life of significance?
Baby Boomers are not going quietly into the night. Many of them are migrating towards a hybrid retirement; they are consulting in their area of expertise, starting a new business or volunteering in the community. The children of the sixties were game changers. Now in their sixties they’re doing it again and changing how retirement is done. They want their lives to count. They want their lives to matter. Some even express their sense of a divine assignment that they must accomplish for whatever time they have on this earth. Whatever that means, it’s not your parents’ retirement plan. But you do need a plan that incorporates the things that matter most to you because today’s retirees are not willing to kick back in their favorite rocking chair and call it a day.
So traditional retirement planning that includes essential and discretionary spending is now being augmented with life fulfilling “self-investment,” a new category to assign to retirement cash flow or net income. It could be taking a shot at a life long interest. It could be taking a hobby and converting it into a small business. It could be investing your time with your favorite charity. Whatever matters most to you could be your encore performance. There is an old proverb from the Wisdom of Solomon, “He who waters will himself be watered.”