Man on peak of mountain“The tragic thing is people don’t think it through,” said retirement expert, Heather Bennett, talking about how people plan for their retirement (Career Buzz, Aug. 28, 2013). Financial planners often ask what people want to do when they retire, and then the numbers are crunched. “They find themselves retired and executing a plan that was ephemeral,” Heather said. “They need a dream.”

In the absence of a dream, people get bored. Heather cited RBC’s retirement myths and realities poll that found 39% of retirees went back to work because they were bored. Why don’t people plan for retirement? According to research Heather shared, it’s because they’ve always been told what to do — in their careers, in education — so planning for themselves is unfamiliar territory. Plus, there’s virtually no conversation between husbands and wives. “One wanted to open a bed and breakfast and the other wanted to stay in the city.” How does this apply to you? If retirement is in sight for you, or for a parent or loved one, answer the question, What is the dream? “Think about it in five year chunks,” recommended Heather. And get help. Financial planners are great at crunching the numbers once you have a plan, but Heather suggested it makes more sense to speak to a career professional or retirement coach first, to help nurture that plan, and not just your own plan but your spouse or partner’s too. “More care should go into planning what is essential a third of our lives.” Listen to the whole interview here.
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