Who wants to retire anyway?
Attending the excellent IFP Conference earlier this month, Andrew, James and I were entertained and inspired again by another uplifting Keynote speech from Dr James Rouse.
Dr Rouse explained how he had been travelling the world visiting various groups and populations of people who have a higher life expectancy than the norm to see just what it was that was making the difference in areas such as Japan and Sardinia.
There were a number of obvious factors we can all work on to improve our prospects for long and healthy lives such as diet and exercise but another common theme was the desire of many of the longer lived subjects to continue with their working careers into their sixties, seventies and beyond.
This article in the Wall Street Journal certainly seems to reflect some of this. It points to several factors contributing to the baby boomer generation hanging on to their businesses far longer than previous generations. One factor being simply a desire to work longer and a feeling of having lots more to contribute.
From our experience as Personal Finance Directors, it certainly seems possible that we are experiencing a cultural shift away from the traditional view of ‘work’ and ‘retirement’ being such a black or white situation. We are certainly very careful with the use of the term ‘retirement’ when we are helping our clients with their financial planning.
Whilst we do spend time helping our clients step away from the working arena to pursue a more traditional looking retirement (whatever that is), we are just as likely to be helping them transition from one form of work to another.
For example, the change from employment as a successful executive to a portfolio career of non-executive directorships. With respect to our entrepreneurial clients who sell their own businesses, it is often not long before they’re tempted back into some form of work as exciting opportunities present themselves.
We love helping our clients live successful lives in whatever form that takes for them. Sometimes not ‘retiring’ can look like success too. If it helps us all live longer and better too, then who are we to argue?