The Other Retirement Crisis
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
by Gary Stamper Even with adequate savings, if new retires don’t have a plan to address the social, emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of retirement they can struggle with their transition and waste some of the best and most important years of their retirement trying to figure it out.
Even though experts say that people may need a nest egg of more than $1 million to carry them through a 30-year retirement, a 2014 CNBC report says that - at age 58 -fully one-third of baby boomers have no money saved in retirement plans.
These generation members hold less wealth, are deeper in debt and will face higher expenses than retirees a decade older than them, according to a new report by the Stanford Center on Longevity.
"Boomers who run out of funds towards the end of life will either fall back on children, who by then will be in their 50s and 60s, or the social safety network," said Jialu Streeter, a research scientist at Stanford.
Retirement planning is a $27 Trillion (with a “T”) industry and everything it encompasses is planning up until someone retires and then it stops.
Unfortunately, while boomers without adequate retirement savings are headed for an uncertain retirement, they are not the only retirees at risk by a long shot
“Traditional retirement planning helps people map out how their financial circumstances will be changing, but doesn’t help them figure out how they might personally need to change. Traditional retirement planning focuses on the situation, not the person, and is ill-prepared to adjust intangible things like their clients’ thoughts and feelings.”
With retirement savings in hand or not, retirement is one of the least understood and most traumatic changes that people undertake in life. If new retires don’t have a plan to address the social, emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of retirement they can struggle with their transition and waste some of the best and most important years of their retirement trying to figure it out.
What is it they’re trying to figure out?
How to keep depression from setting in
How not to feel worthless
How to reconnect with your spous
How to still be a force in retirement
How to find meaning and purpose
Traditional retirement planning helps people map out how their financial circumstances will be changing, but doesn’t help them figure out how they might personally need to change. Traditional retirement planning focuses on the situation, not the person, and is ill-prepared to adjust intangible things like their clients’ thoughts and feelings.
Because of these intangible things, when people finally get to retirement after working so hard for so many years, they can suddenly have more questions than answers, and they don’t know who to turn to.
And even people who have saved all of their lives for the promised “golden years” suddenly find themselves with a different set of fears they weren’t prepared for, didn’t see coming, and that no one told them about.
Right now, there is a fundamental gap in how baby boomers are approaching retirement. It’s a key piece that they, along with financial professionals, and even human resource managers are missing.
These are the problems a retirement coach deals with every day.
Where’s my motivation to get out of bed?
I don’t know who I am anymore
I feel like I’m wasting what should be my golden years
Who is this person I’m living with?
I don’t feel authentic working part time
Volunteer work just isn’t satisfying or fulfilling
I miss the people I used to work with
I’m not excited about doling new things
My self-worth is seriously at an all-time low
How do I know all of this? Because I’m a baby boomer and this is also my story.
We hear talk of 60 being the new 40 or 70 being the new 50. I get this. At almost 74, I’ve got as much energy as other men a decade or more younger than I. Both of my parents lived to be 92 as did both of my grandmothers. It’s as if I’ve had an after-market performance rebuild. As a generation, we feel decades younger than our parents when they approached retirement.
Baby boomers created a paradigm shift in the 60’s and 70’s and we’re doing it again today. Just as we threw out all of our parents playbooks as we moved into adulthood, we are once again breaking all the rules.
Fact is, retirement planning can no longer be compartmentalized into a financial event. It needs to be comprehensive in terms of the employees. It’s about taking a more holistic approach that goes one step further by integrating the mental, social, physical, and spiritual aspects of life after work with the financial ones. This is crucial because it enables employees to use multiple factors including personal values, family dynamics, personal health, and finances to decide when to retire, instead of basing such a major decision on the account balance of their 401(k) or 403(b).
The good news is that it is easy to rectify. Work with a Certified Professional Retirement Coach! Retirement coaches like me are quickly becoming a key part of what it takes to make a successful transition from work-life to home life.
We left the corporate world, we sold or repurposed our businesses, many of us put in our 30 or sometimes 40 years in order to get that gold watch. And then they realized something about retirement that very few people know. It’s the ultimate secret about life after work… and it happens to be the new term that will replace the old and outdated concept of retirement forever. Simply put, the official new word that replaces the old and outdated concept of retirement is actually Retirements. This represents a functional shift that changes everything.
We're now in a time when we may have multiple retirements during our lifetime. The new mindset is “what’s next?” instead of “I am no longer a productive part of society.”
Think about it: A proactive transition from one role or situation into the next. This represents a functional shift that changes everything.
Consider it the game-changing insight that retirement coaches have to help people see and begin to plan retirement from a completely new perspective. It’s simple, powerful, and combined with the other trends, it makes perfect sense!
Finally: We really are the ones we’ve been waiting for!
Gary Stamper is a Certified Professional Coach and the founder and creator of Old Dogs New Tricks, a website that supports men in being compassionate badasses after they retire. He is also the author of Awakening The New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, a book about evolutionary consciousness and men's spirituality.