Plan and Retire

Why You Should Talk to Your Elders About Retirement

Erin Palmer

October 15, 2017

Why you should talk to your elders about retirement

Wisdom comes with experience. Everything a person goes through in life is a chance to learn something new. This can be helpful when it comes to retirement planning.

Let’s be clear, a financial advisor is the best person to help you make a plan and begin saving. But even with a retirement plan in place, you still want to turn to your inner circle to learn about their experiences.

Get Much-Needed Perspective

Gathering retirement stories from the people in your life who have been through it isn’t about getting advice. There are financial advisors who can offer guidance and help you make a retirement plan.

However, your friends and family’s retirement stories can offer you a different perspective on the entire process. While the professionals help you prepare for your retirement, your loved ones can offer insight from their own experiences.

Perspective can help with the personal side of retirement. Some people have an easier time than others with the adjustment, so it can be beneficial to hear how your friends and family members dealt with the transition.

Ask Early to Learn More

It is never too early to start saving for retirement. Likewise, now is the perfect time to start asking people in your life about their retirement experiences.

As you move through different stages of your life, your needs and wants shift. Since your retirement questions will likely change as you do, the earlier you ask questions, the more information you will learn.

When you’re young, you might want to know the basics of what your loved ones went through. If you have kids, you might have family-oriented questions. If you’re career-driven, you may wonder about the transition out of the career world.

Every story you get can teach you something, so ask early and often!

Get the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Anyone who has ever sat through a family BBQ knows one of the best and worst things about your loved ones is that they aren’t afraid to tell you the absolute truth. But when it comes to asking about retirement, this no sugarcoating policy is actually a good thing!

The happy retirement stories are uplifting and can give you an example of the good things to do. But you can also learn a lot from the mistakes your loved ones made or the parts of retirement that they struggled with the most.

For some people, it can be difficult to adjust to life outside of the working world. Ask your loved ones what they did to make this transition easier.

Another wonderful topic to ask about is post-retirement hobbies. A lot of people use retirement to develop and nurture passions that they didn’t have time for while they were working. Sometimes these interests even turn into part-time work.

For example, a love for photography could lead to a show in a gallery. Budding philanthropists may start a nonprofit organization or sit on the board of an existing one.

To get a feel for what retirement is like, check out this video from The New York Times. Then ask the retirees in your life to share their experiences. Enjoy the retirement stories and use the inspiration to help shape your own future.

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