Retirement By Design

I have been working with folks transitioning to retirement for 20 years.  When I started in my career, it was the Greatest Generation retiring. Now it is all Baby Boomers.

There is a stark contrast in the financial make up of these two generations. The differences are likely related to long term shifts in American business.  Trends such as outsourcing, technological advancements, and offshore manufacturing have left Boomers relying more on their own savings and less on the pensions and social security that their parents’ generations were accustomed to. In the hay day of American manufacturing and the industrial revolution, the ability to live off a pension in retirement was commonplace; today it is a rarity.

Despite the gap in retirement funding between the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers, these two generations share one strong commonality: a lack of retirement readiness. Members of these two generations are comfortable talking about “nest eggs,” “life savings,” and their “number,” but this view leaves out a lot of practical and human aspects that we simply don’t talk about enough in our society.

A financial plan is critical to creating a sense of retirement readiness due to the sense of security it brings.  There is plenty of evidence that shows Boomers are more likely to have too little than too much, but the inadequacy of financial preparation becomes a crutch and excuse.

As a result, Boomers are less likely to engage in other aspects of retirement planning, such as making plans for how they want to spend their time, because they don’t know if they are financially ready.  The truth is that until you go through a comprehensive, practical and realistic financial planning process, you won’t feel secure enough to consider the other aspects critical to having an intentional retirement.

In other words, the financial plan is the most important part of retirement planning, but it is not the only part.

We have several presentations that encourage folks to have a baseline for starting their retirement planning.  The first is “Navigating the Path to Retirement” and it is a first step in understanding how to create a financial plan for retirement.  We have hosted it for several years and it is the secret sauce of what we do for our clients.

However, another aspect of retirement readiness is a presentation titled “7 Things You Need to Know to Have an Intentional Retirement.”  This presentation covers non-financial planning areas and is a natural successor to having a solid financial plan.  I have found that, simply put, Boomers aren’t confident in their financial plans, so they never get to the other areas of planning for their retirement.  When they do have a great financial plan in place, like those we provide, they are still intimidated by the non-financial aspects.  We want to help you have a life by design, not live a life by chance.

At Pathfinder we are passionate about helping you navigate the path to an Intentional Retirement: one that is built on a solid financial plan and fulfills the design you chose for your life. We will be hosting the “Navigating the Path” and “7 Things” presentations multiple times throughout the upcoming year.

Whether you are more focused on the financial aspects or the lifestyle readiness, we invite you to join us for one of our upcoming events. If you are interested in learning more about these presentations or attending one of our events, please contact us at 910-793-0616,, or visit our website at for more information.

Categories: Insights