Retirement 01

So you’re thinking about retiring? Congratulations are in order for at least two reasons. First, you’ve survived to an age where retirement is a consideration. Not everyone does, of course, but you did. Either through luck or taking care of yourself you’ve gotten to this age where you are thinking that your career may take a back seat in your life.

Secondly, you have a minimum financial position that makes working and an earned income somewhat optional. Again, not everyone has this, but you do. For these two reasons you should celebrate, at least a little.

If watch any television whatsoever, and you are in the baby boomer demographic (roughly those born between 1946 and 1964) you’ve been seeing advertisements from financial companies touting their expertise at retirement. There are some folksy ones where the investment advisor attends the retirement party and reminds the retiree that they have been planning this for a long time and it’s all good. Some play to financial anxiety, asking if you are sure that you will outlive your retirement assets. Their message is to turn your money over to their financial institution and it will all be taken care of. That may or may not be true, and I am not here to criticize their skill at managing retirement funds. In fact, I have the majority of my retirement assets on deposit in three of the largest financial institutions. These institutions are some of the ones with the most aggressive commercials. What I do find fault with is the underlying assumption that retirement is only a financial calculation. Sure, having sufficient assets gives you more freedom to do what you want, but sometimes figuring out what you want to do is the bigger problem to solve and just because you can quit working doesn’t mean you should quit working.