Archive for the Category ◊ Retirement Planning ◊

• Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

When working with clients as a financial advisor, I found most people knew they had to save and invest for retirement, but had no idea of what kind of life they wanted in that retirement. Many thought they had years till retirement, but as the Great Recession of 2008 showed us, many people found themselves prematurely retired. And there are always those who never want to retire, but can’t know how realistic that desire will be. Most people are not planners. They are too immersed in the challenges of everyday life. That is why they need to work with someone who can help them create a vision for the life they want and a game plan for how to achieve it. This article does a good job describing some of the challenges in making this transition: https://www.nextavenue.org/retirement-bad-fit/?fbclid=IwAR1UdUgb6NadBZpIiZsSZuQF7Eorex0wVd6XHPf_i8Lt7Ea4-4PNpDq_BbQ. Rather than “retirement”, with its negative connotations, let’s call it the “What’s Next?” stage!

• Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Since I retired in 2010, retirement coaching and heading up Encore Palm Beach County have filled my life. Yes, I still make time for my daily swim, fund with friends, attendance at plays, films, operas, dance performances, and a steady stream of books on my Kindle from the local library.

The real excitement is with Encore. In the course of providing workshops, Meetups and special events, my volunteer staff and I have met many people over 50 looking to be engaged with new work and volunteer opportunities. This has led Encore in many new directions and to many collaborations in the community. Encore’s focus on helping people find new work led me to add coaching and workshops on creating new work after 50. What we have discovered is that people are not successful in finding new work with online job boards. The algorithims used by them routinely screen out older workers. The personal connection is missing. I teach people the forgotten art of networking to find the hidden opportunities. In a county of 1.4 million people, 40% of whom are over 50, and more moving here every day, it is hard for people new to the area to have the personal connections that can lead to new work.

• Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Thirty-Four years ago when I was contemplating a change of careers, I learned that the best way to find a new job was to network through personal contacts. I began with 5 people I knew and using certain information interviewing techniques, I was offered jobs in fields I never would have known about. Today we have LinkedIn, job boards and placement services. But my clients over 50 tell me that they send out hundreds of resumes, and respond to many job postings and never get a response. I work with them to figure out what they really have to offer in the way of skills and experiences and then help them develop an approach to find the work that’s right for them. Otherwise they are wasting their time trying to fit into other people’s boxes rather than creating their own box. Sometimes actually no box at all!

Recently Chris Farrell of Market Place Money spoke to the Encore event here in Delray Beach about how baby boomers are changing the way we think about work. In this article for Forbes magazine he confirms that the method I teach still is the most productive way of finding new work: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2017/04/10/the-problem-with-job-boards-for-older-job-seekers.

• Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

I have written before about the fact that creativity doesn’t decrease with age as long as one continues to use your mind in creative ways. This has been documented in various scientific studies, but a recent article in the New York Times by Pagan Kennedy, author of “Inventology, How We Dream Up Things That Change The World” she told of John Goodenough, 94, who has just filed a patent on a new kind of battery that could revolutionize electric cars. She cited studies that show that in the U.S. the highest value patents often come from the oldest inventors, over 55. While there is certainly plenty of creativity among the young, a study of Nobel physics laureates found that most made their discoveries after 50 and the peak of creativity for Nobel winners is getting higher age-wise every year. As Mr. Goodenough said “You have to draw on a fair amount of experience in order to be able to put ideas together.” When I work with retirement planning clients I remind them that they have the power to create what they want in their lives and to create new things using their life experiences. This is something people tend not to believe and need to be reminded of. To read the article in full: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/opinion/sunday/to-be-a-genius-think-like-a-94-year-old.html?

• Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Over the past two years I have been going in several new directions. In addition to retirement planning, coaching and workshops, I created and copyrighted a program for a healthy approach to lifetime financial planning for people early in their careers and am preparing to launch it as an e-book. I am also exploring offering it to employers as a benefit for younger employees to help retain them. Retirement planning is more than savings and investing. It should be a plan to include the six key areas of life planning: career and work, health and wellness, family and relationships, leisure and social, personal development as well as finance and insurance. Finally, with a group of dedicated volunteers, we have created Encore Palm Beach County, a new nonprofit focused on helping people over 50 connect with new work, paid and volunteer. We have a new website: www.encorepbc.org. And we are sponsoring a great program on February 16 with Chris Farrell, Economics Editor of MarketPlace Money and author of “Unretirement: How Boomers are Changing How We View Work, Community, and the Good Life”, as speaker. Chris believes that our aging population has much to contribute economically to our society rather than being a drain on it, as many believe who paint pictures of financial doom and gloom. You can register to join us at www.encorepbc.org/event!

• Monday, October 19th, 2015

For the last several months, I have been chairing a committee interested in creating a new non-profit dedicated to helping the over-50 person create new careers, paid and unpaid, that have social impact. It will be called Encore Palm Beach County and the focus will be helping people discover their interests in making a difference and matching them with the needs of non-profit organizations in Palm Beach County. We have studied similar programs like this around the country, all of which are inspired by the Encore movement, “a movement to tap into the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world”. This has been an outgrowth of my work with Create Your Best Retirement. We are in the initial stages, but hope over the next few years to develop funding and staffing. A long way to go yet, but exciting!

• Friday, April 17th, 2015

Everyone will face this decision eventually.  Some will have a mandatory retirement date, some will lose their jobs, some will have spouses who have already retired and want the other to retire also, and some will never retire.  But that’s not most people.  You can take tests online to estimate how long you will live.  You can uses various calculators to decide when to take Social Security.  And, of course, financial advisors can help you plan financially so you won’t run out of money, hopefully, before you die.  After spending the last 6 months talking with people about working with me to develop a retirement plan for how they want to live in retirement, it has become clear to me that people are still focused only on financial planning.  But they have it backwards.  Instead of plucking numbers out of the air, wouldn’t it be better to give some thought to how you want to live in retirement:  where you want to live, what activities you want to enjoy, how much travel you want to do, whether you want a new career or to develop a new skill, etc., and then put a number on what that scenario would require financially?  If you did, perhaps then, your financial advisor could do a better job of helping you create the resources needed.  Here is a good link to a recent article in Investment News that discusses the reality experienced by many of those already retired.

• Monday, March 16th, 2015

All over the country retiring baby boomers are creating new careers, new businesses, new volunteer ventures to solve social problems.  You can read their stories on Encore.org. 

• Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

I have just finished creating an on-line course in lifetime financial planning for a large university to be offered in January of 2015 as a pilot program.  It is the first program of its kind to be offered to students and alumnae created by an alum.  It grew out of a course I had expected to give several years ago for a community college, which never took place.  But I had pulled together all the material based on my experience as a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial and my firm belief in financial planning.   And so I used it in creating this course.  It has taught me again that no experience is ever wasted!  The course is geared to working people in their 20’s and 30’s to enable them to have a global view of the financial challenges awaiting them because if some things are not addressed in the early years, later is too late to correct them.  I hope to help people avoid problems so that some day they CAN afford to retire.  For me, it forced me to learn and grow in retirement through developing new computer skills in order to use their technology, and creating a Power Point presentation proved useful.  As one thing leads to another, I am using those new skills to create two other workshops to offer this Fall in my local area:  a workshop on Creating Your Best Retirement, Creating The Encore Career, as well as a modified version of the financial planning program.  In addition, individual coaching sessions will be available to people attending the workshops.  All the workshops are based on my core belief that we are all capable of creating new things in our lives!

• Monday, February 10th, 2014

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had an operation after downsizing to my new home.  What needs mentioning also is a subject that you don’t read much about in the articles on retirement planning.  It falls under the Estate Planning topic.  Having all your important documents in order in the event of your death is not something a lot of people want to think about.  But death comes to all, and sometimes sooner than planned.  I had already downsized so that my son would have less to deal with when that time came.  It only made sense to do something that had been on my mind for sometime:  create “THE BOOK” or the “Get Your Affairs in Order Book”.   Although my son had a general idea of where all my important papers were, they were disorganized.  So I bought a three ring binder, copied all documents that he would need, and organized them by category.

There was a list of all contacts:  doctors, accountants, lawyers, minister, condo association, cleaning help, handyman, etc., as well as friends and family with phone numbers.  A list of all computer passwords.  The financial section had information on checking and savings accounts, with information on bills to be paid, either electronically or by check, and a copy of things like the property tax bill which is paid only once a year.  The insurance section had a copy of the declaration page for each kind of insurance such as Medigap, home owners, auto, life and long term care policies, along with contact phone numbers.  A copy of my Social Security benefit statement was included along with instructions on how to contact them.  Another section had a copy of my will, the power of attorney that allows him to act on my behalf, designation of health care surrogate and living will, along with final wishes for funeral, cremation, hospice care, etc.  Many of these documents can be found online with those current for each state’s laws.  A document called “Five Wishes” can also be found online which gives specific instructions for your care if terminal.  Documents relating to the purchase and sale of various properties in the last year was also included for tax purposes.  Miscellaneous information included things like contact names of dealers for the sale of collectibles and information on how to sell an inherited home.

Wow!  That sounds like a lot, but just sitting down one Saturday and pulling it all together got it done, and made me think about what really mattered to me.  Using a three ring binder makes it easy to pull out and insert pages as information needs updating.  Finally, I included a series of memoir pieces I wrote over the last year about my life that I thought my son would find interesting to read sometime. My life now is a lot simpler than it would have been 10 or 20 years earlier or there might have been a lot more that need including.

Many people avoid thinking about their death, particularly young people.  As we get older, we get more realistic about the matter.  Even so, this is something that could get neglected and create havoc for children trying to handle matters later.  I was particularly sensitive to this since my son’s father had died three years earlier and it was a big job for him to handle by himself.  Before the operation, we sat down and walked through the book quickly.  While he probably hated thinking about all that, he knew where everything was, and that he didn’t need to worry about it again until the time came.  For my part, as a planner and a parent, I felt I had done everything I could to make it easier for him, sort of a last gift, as it were.  The best part?  I’m still here!