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Retirement Planning

What's next after a successful career? Prepare clients for life after retirement

When helping your clients plan for retirement, discussions around building up their emotional reserves are just as important as strategizing their financial assets. While you can't prepare your future retiree clients for every high and low in the next chapter of their lives, they will enjoy a much more seamless transition if they can identify ways to address common psychological challenges like social isolation, loneliness and boredom. This element of retirement planning can be particularly hard for high-achieving clients who may have had incredibly successful or demanding careers.

From replacing support networks and losing their career identity to finding new ways to stay active and fulfilled, your clients will have many things to consider beyond just their retirement income and savings. Here are seven key points to use as conversation starters at your next meeting to help them retire with confidence not just financially, but also mentally and emotionally.

Staying connected

Staying socially connected is key to healthy and happy aging. Discuss the possibilities of your clients' existing social networks and how they can expand them to make new friendships through community organizations, support groups and clubs. Encourage them to use their connections with friends and family to share their goals and interests and find volunteer opportunities in areas they've always wanted to explore.

Finding a new routine

Some people may feel afraid of retirement, especially after a long and successful career. Talk to your clients about how they can build structure into their day in a way that feels comfortable after many years of dealing with meetings, deadlines, and commuting to work. Whether it's a daily morning walk, a regular workout at the gym or a book club meeting every Tuesday evening, make sure to flesh out what the new normal will look like for them.

Community service

Ask your clients to identify the charities they wish to support, either with their dollars or their time, and how these contributions will fit into their monthly budgeting and overall retirement planning.

Consider part-time work or a new career

In addition to alleviating stress and boredom, keeping active and meeting new people, going back to work can be the perfect opportunity to try something new. Talk to your clients about taking advantage of the wide range of part-time jobs for retirees to suit their lifestyles, skills, and interests. Make sure to advise them that working in retirement could impact their Medicare costs and change the amount they owe in taxes; up to 85 percent of their Social Security benefits may be taxable.

Seek mental stimulation

Ask your clients how much they might want to contribute towards cultivating new hobbies or mastering new skills that will keep their mind agile and sharp. Whether they choose to play a musical instrument, learn a new language, or take a continuing education class, you should work with them to create a realistic monthly budget that reflects how their pension will be impacted over time.

Cultivate new passions

Asking your clients key questions about what inspires them and makes them feel most connected to their community will help them view retirement in a positive light and as a journey of further self-discovery. Discuss what activities they always wanted to participate in but never had the luxury of time to engage in until now. Ask about what they enjoyed doing most as a child and whether there are new iterations of those activities that they could pursue as retirees.

Identify new or evolving needs for support

Be alert to changes in your clients' behavior that may indicate they're struggling with life or mental health in retirement. Any major change such as reduced attention or motivation or sudden difference in how they make financial decisions could be a red flag that something is wrong. Offer to connect them with trusted professionals in your network or encourage them to speak to a counsellor or their doctor.

While many people focus solely on the income, savings and cash flow aspects of retirement, it's crucial not to overlook the importance of emotional planning. Viewing retirement as a positive transition rather than a final destination will encourage your clients to define their purpose and align their financial resources accordingly.

Interested in learning more about helping your clients in their next stage of life? Find out which topics related to retirement you may want to discuss with your clients.



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