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Help Clients Who Struggle with Adjusting to Retirement

How to create a retirement mentoring program, where current retirees can offer perspective and insight to pre-retirees.

Retirement Doesn't Come with an Owner's Manual

Work provides many of the factors that contribute to our happiness, including social connections, a steady routine, and a sense of purpose. That's why retirees often find themselves unprepared for the dramatic changes this stage of life brings, especially if their exit from the workplace is sudden or forced. If you're looking for a way to differentiate your practice, consider offering a retirement mentorship program to help newly or soon-to-be-retired clients prepare for the transition.


Satisfied Retirees Are The Experts

A retirement mentorship program, where current retirees offer support and insight, can help clients prepare. If you have clients who are already enjoying a happy, successful retirement and they're willing to coach others, they can provide a valuable service that you may not be able to offer personally, by providing first-hand perspective.


Getting Started: Identify, Pitch, Ask, Share

Creating a retirement mentorship program doesn't have to be daunting. We've broken down the process into four simple steps, which we refer to as the four I.P.A.S.: Identify, Pitch, Ask, and Share.


Step 1: Identify

Start by making two client lists. First, possible mentees: think about your clients who are nearing retirement and have questions or, more importantly, concerns. On the second list, think about your potential mentors: retired clients who are enjoying a gratifying retirement. Who's thriving, emotionally, physically, and financially? 


Step 2: Pitch

Contact those you identified as potential mentors, and explain the concept of the retirement mentorship program. Ask if they'd be willing to join your team of mentors and help others who are preparing for, or in the early stages of, this unknown journey. Make sure to cite the ways they, too, can benefit: finding a new purpose, sharing their own experiences, helping others succeed, growing their social network, etc. Together, you can agree on a commitment level.


Step 3: Ask

Interview and vet those clients who’ve agreed to volunteer as retirement mentors. Invite them to share stories with you about their own personal journey and transition into retirement. You can ask them a series of questions, such as:

  • What do you wish you'd known prior to retirement?
  • What are the hardest challenges that you face as a retiree?
  • How did you overcome those challenges?
  • What suggestions do you have for clubs, groups, or organizations that a retiree should consider joining?
  • Are you using any services, apps, or other technologies to make life in retirement easier?


Step 4: Share

Now that you’ve assembled your team of mentors, arrange opportunities for them meet their mentees.


Facilitate introductions

Some mentors might be willing to be matched with a mentee or commit to serving as an in-person, on-demand resource for them. For this group, consider setting up a meeting between a mentor and a mentee (and yourself) to make the initial introduction and get the conversation started. 

Other mentors might not be able to make a longer-term commitment to the program. Think about using these mentors in a different, shorter-term, and less hands-on manner. Plan a client event for both mentors and mentees, so that they can mingle, share their stories, ask one another questions, and swap tips and ideas. 


Reach a broader audience

Also consider taking a newsletter-type approach. For example, you could send a monthly communication to those you identified as retirement mentees that includes a first-hand account from a retirement mentor, or with a list of resources you gleaned from them. In the newsletter, encourage those interested in being mentees to call you and get connected with a retirement mentor. 

Whatever the modes of communication and participation may be, the point is to share knowledge.

This process is detailed in our downloadable advisor worksheet. If you'd like more information on how to build a robust retirement mentoring program, including the latest retirement insights from the MIT AgeLab, contact your Hartford Funds advisor consultant today.



Next Steps:

  1. Download the "Paying It Forward" advisor worksheet below
  2. Within one week, make your lists of potential mentors and mentees
  3. Within two weeks, recruit three potential mentors
  4. Arrange a meet-and-greet with a mentor and mentee within one month



*Retirement and Depression, investopedia.com, 8/11/19

The MIT AgeLab is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.