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What is Retirement . . . Really?

What is Retirement . . . Really?

December 11, 2023

Redefining Retirement: Navigating the Changing Landscape

For some, it’s a reward at the end of a race. A destination they rush to reach. It’s a sign that they have completed the task of having a career.

For others, it’s being cut from the starting lineup. They are no longer allowed to do the work they love. They don’t know how to think of themselves if they don’t have a job, a workplace, work teammates, and a career to provide the framework.

The Path to Financial Independence

I find I’m having this conversation a lot lately. Maybe it’s because I’m now in my 60’s so I spend more time with folks in their 60s. But the financial planning literature tells us that many Americans, of all ages, are asking this question more than they used to.

I suppose part of the story is that today, most people do NOT have a defined benefit retirement plan. Pensions are becoming VERY rare. Back when I was in high school in the 1970s there were still plenty of pensions. In those days retirement was a bit clearer. You reached a milestone where you qualified for “retirement”, and you received a pension income for life without having to work. Back then, it was a reward for the successful completion of your work career.

Now, it’s not as clear as that. Today, retirement can often mean uncertainty, about your financial stability and about your value to your community. I think it’s harder to retire than ever before.

So, I suggest we think of the “slowing down of work” as Financial Independence. If you are financially secure, you can work, or not, on your terms. If you have enough savings, pensions, and passive income to provide for all your needs and wants for the rest of your life, then you can do what you choose without concern for compensation.

The goal of Financial Independence is to create more control over your future. You get to shape the options you consider. You are not TRAPPED in a situation where you can’t meet your financial needs. You are not trapped in a job that does not bring you joy.

Therefore, a successful Financial Independence Plan sets the table to give you better choices in the future than you have today. It also guides you around the potential snags and pitfalls that can slow or derail your financial progress. A great fiduciary financial planner has retired many times with many clients before you. She can help you chart a course that gives you joy and peace. She can guide you along the path to be sure that you have great choices, no matter what changes throughout your retirement life.

Yes, I am a fiduciary financial planner. I’m always a fiduciary and I work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.

If you are interested in talking about what your journey to financial independence looks like, maybe you would benefit from a visit with an experienced, highly-trained, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Behavioral Financial Advisor to help better understand your options. I love to meet new people. So, follow this LINK to find a time for us to have a get-acquainted visit.

I am a financial planner who is an advocate for my clients ALL THE TIME – a fiduciary financial planner. I provide guidance based on clients’ best interests, not commissions or sales quotas. I think it’s the best way to serve clients and I am thrilled to work this way all the time.

And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.

Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.