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Retirement Planning – It’s About More Than Just Money

Retirement Planning – It’s About More Than Just Money

By Susan Williams

With retirements now potentially spanning up to thirty years, this is almost as long as the average career. Yet so many people are heading into retirement without any clear plan of what they want to do once they get there.

In this Learning Bites episode, I chatted with Mike Drak about this situation.

Mike is the co-author of the book Victory Lap Retirement along with also being a public speaker on the topic of planning for the non-financial side of retirement. Mike shared with me why he decided to write Victory Lap Retirement along with highlighting why it is so important to think about what you plan to do in retirement – beyond the money.

Here is our discussion:

These are some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • After leaving his corporate job of 36 years, Mike was trying to really understand what retirement was and had difficulties finding information and resources to help him. As a result of his own personal frustration, he decided to write Victory Lap Retirement
  • The majority of resources discussing retirement has circulated around the financial side but no one has ever looked at one of the most important aspects – time
  • Many people think that when they retire, that alone will make them happy but Mike shares that this is more than likely not true. If you don’t have anything to do once you get to this point, chances are you will be unhappy
  • After a couple of years, Mike had figured out his own path in retirement and thought he could help other people in figuring out theirs
  • In the book he covers how retirement has changed over the years. He pointed out that it’s crazy to think that you can work for thirty years and you could finance a retirement for just as long so this is why we need to look at retirement in different ways
  • As well, the book shares how someone could create a retirement lifestyle – unique to them.
  • Once the lifestyle has been defined, it then needs to be costed out and see how this could be afforded. Is part time work needed or need to cut back on expenses to support this defined retirement lifestyle
  • Mike believes that people should focus on Financial Independence – not retirement – so that at some point you can say “I have enough. I can generate enough cash flow from my financial assets over the years where I don’t have to work anymore.” At that point you are financially free to do whatever you want. At this point you can do some of the fun stuff – something that may not be so stressful or something at a slower pace that you enjoy doing and keep doing this for as long as you can
  • Too often people think of retirement as the finish line to start a life of leisure but it doesn’t work out that way
  • It’s so important to have a purpose – or purpose(s). It’s the reason to get up in the morning. Often people have their identity tied up in the work and when they leave this can be a shock if you don’t have some idea of what your purpose is
  • You also need to be able to replace the structure in your day. This helps to direct the activities for the day
  • This was the first book that Mike ever wrote and he enjoyed the experience and is currently working on his second book but after this he plans to really embrace his passion of public speaking on this topic.
  • Mike will be joining us again to talk with us more about how to plan and prepare for the non-financial side of retirement

To learn more about Mike’s thoughts and thinking from Victory Lap Retirement, be sure to read some of his other posts;

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.

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