A recent T. Rowe Price study concluded that while many people do at least some level of financial planning for retirement, relatively few take into account the emotional element of planning. They have not taken time to truly visualize what retirement will look like and how they want to live those years. The result can be boredom, loneliness and a real struggle to find purpose and fulfillment in what could be the best years of one’s life. This emotional planning is as important as the financial planning and we find that much of our work here at The Joseph Group is encouraging and even assisting clients with the emotional planning piece.
The T. Rowe Price study suggested that individuals or couples need to visualize their future retirement through five W’s – who, what, where, when and why:
- Who do they want to spend time with?
- What activities do they want to engage in?
- Where do they want to live?
- When do they want to retire?
- Why is each of the above important to them?
Thinking through these five W’s will give a better understanding of who they are and who they want to be in retirement.
Certainly each person contemplating retirement will differ in their own unique responses to the five W’s, and the depth and content of those responses will impact the retirement plan they develop and their preparation for retirement. Their answers also are tremendously important in the work that we do for each client to design a wealth plan tailored to the life they want to live and a portfolio that enables that plan to be realized in the years of retirement.
Couples have an even bigger reason to think about their life in retirement to ensure they’re on the same page. One may have an idea of where they want to live, but is that what the other is thinking? Deep and ongoing conversations about the five W’s is so important to achieve a plan that both people have agreed upon and are excited about!
Living a great life – a life of purpose, impact and joy – takes real planning. Begin that planning today – you’ll be glad you did!
Written by Mark Palmer, Partner and Co-founder