Have you ever stopped your clients and asked them, in regard to retirement, what exactly it is they’re saving for? Retirement is one of your clients’ largest investments, and it is one they put money away for sight unseen. A dream home, the kids’ education, care for elderly relatives, and transportation are all tangible investments. What about retirement? If you asked your clients to paint the picture of what their retirement looks like, would they be able to?
I was recently on vacation with my family, and as I looked at my work calendar, it was nice to see a few days blocked off – no obligations, no breakfast meetings, and no dinner seminars. The few days after, however, were booked with nonstop travel, hotel reservations, and meetings. I started to think about how busy we all are with not only business but personal commitments, and compared to those calm, slow vacation days, the hours seem to fly by the busier we are.
I started to think about what I would fill my time with if my vacation had been any more than a week. What if my calendar showed two weeks free? It’s still a great feeling, and I could fill that time up with things to do. Three or four weeks of free time is a little tougher; I can only travel so much, my spouse might have to work, and my finances might start to get a bit tighter. One or two months free. Four or six months free. One or five years free. 10, 20, 30 years free? It starts to get a little nerve-racking – what would I do with all that free time?
When your clients start to really consider what their retirement looks like, they may get a little anxious thinking about what they actually want to do in their retirement years. A great repurposed exercise you can do with your clients is ask them, “What’s your why?” We do this for other aspects of our life – we ask ourselves what drives us to do what we do, whether it’s taking care of our families, helping our communities, or developing as a leader. Why not do the same for retirement? Why do they want to save money for retirement? Is it to travel? To help out their children and grandchildren? To buy a new or second home?
By asking your clients why they save, you can help them paint their retirement picture and better understand their options for filling their time. Some suggestions you could offer include proactively planning the vacations and trips they intend to take throughout their retirement to give your clients something to look forward to. They could also look into auditing classes in subject matters they never had the time to explore before. Propose they start volunteering now, to make the transition easier when they do retire. Lastly, have your clients start thinking about a new career. The gig economy or part-time work are great options for retirees.
It might be the best feeling in the world to roll over and hit the snooze button on the first day of retirement. But by the second, third, or 1000th time, retirement starts to become a Groundhog Day. Everyone needs a sense a purpose, including those in retirement, so ask your clients, “what’s your why?” to aid them in looking forward to what can be an enjoyable and fulfilling time in their life.