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How to Help Clients Plan for the “Solo Journey” Phase of Retirement

February 19, 2020 

Longevity-focused advisors do more than help ensure financial security, they help connect clients with the trusted services necessary to successfully navigate the many events and transitions later in their lives.

The Loneliness Syndrome: A Lonely Lifestyle Can Be a Health Risk



Source: The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone, The Wall Street Journal, 12/11/18

A part of our series, 8,000 Days

According to Dr. Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab, the solo journey phase is the fourth phase of an 8,000 day retirement. Clients in this phase are typically living alone, which brings challenges related to loneliness, housing decisions, and caregiving. Clients can end up alone due to the death of a spouse, divorce, friends dying or moving away, or health problems that make it difficult to get out and interact with others.

You can link clients with resources that provide opportunities to spend time with others, share technology that makes it easier to age in place, and introduce them to professionals who can assist them with housing and caregiving decisions. Offering these resources can help clients in this phase find a renewed sense of purpose, maintain social engagement, and inspire them to reinvent themselves.


Next Steps

  1. Download or order the client piece below
  2. Share a client version of this web page with clients by email, by posting a link of the client version to social media,* or by printing them a hard copy
  3. If you notice clients in the solo journey phase struggling with loneliness, share resources outlined in the piece

*Prior to posting articles on social media, please consult with your firm’s legal and compliance teams, social media policy, and required participation in social media programs.




Though it may seem counterintuitive, even though we see a depletion of physical, financial, social and perhaps even cognitive resources, emotional well-being in older adulthood is high in comparison to other stages of life. This suggests that with proper planning despite lower resources, aging individuals can feel optimistic about increased longevity.

— Dr. Joseph Coughlin, director of the MIT AgeLab and senior advisor at Next360 Partners, LLC

The MIT AgeLab and Next360 Partners LLC are not affiliates or subsidiaries of Hartford Funds.