Show Notes for this Episode:
Have you given much thought to what you might be like in your retirement years? Although 20 to 30 years seems far off, it will be here before we know it.
Let’s face it though, it’s tough to not only think of yourself in 20 to 30 years but also to give your future self some TLC now! In my interview with psychologist and bestselling New York Times Author, Daniel Crosby, we talked about this very issue of how to start caring more today about your future self.
In this podcast episode, I talk about the 4 types of retirees that are discussed in the book What Retirees Want, a Holistic View of Life’s Third Age. The authors grouped retirees based on their lifestyles, attitudes, aspirations, needs and priorities.
The 4 types of retirees are: Ageless Explorers, Comfortably Content, Live for Todays, Worried Strugglers
You will enjoy learning more about this as you will probably identify with one or more of these categories based on your life today. The good news about being in midlife is that you still have time to change your trajectory and create the kind of retirement lifestyle that you desire.
35% of retirees fall into the Worried Strugglers category. Don’t let that be you! Tune into this episode of the Retirement Money Gal Podcast to learn more.
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How often do you think about your future self?
A few episodes back, I interviewed psychologist, dr. Daniel Crosby,
He's a New York times bestselling author, and he studies human behavior. And how behavior integrates with your money and your financial life and investing. And we talked about this question of why is it so difficult to imagine yourself 20 years from now, 25 years from now? Because it's such a long way away, obviously. And Daniel shared that one way to do that and to kind of get familiar with what life could be like when you're 20 years or 30 years older is to spend time with people who are 20 to 30 years ahead of you. Maybe that's your parents, maybe it's an aunt or an uncle or something like that, where you can really be around this person and see how well they've taken care of themselves financially from a health perspective, see what they're doing with their lives and what their needs are. And I love that because even though you can't imagine yourself, you can at least extrapolate or maybe live vicariously through someone who is quite a bit older than you are. And I know with my own parents who are in their mid to late seventies, that I have definitely become much more aware of how they're living their lives at that age and what their health status is, how much energy do they have? Are they happy? Do they have peace? Are they financially secure? So I think about this quite a bit, the reason to think about your future self now in mid life and give yourself some future TLC is because it'll be here before you know it.
I know, I think about how fast life has gone since I was in my mid thirties and around age 37 is when I came into my current family with two young boys. And one of them is now a junior in college. The other's a senior in high school and the time has just flown by. I cannot believe it. So your retirement years are going to be here before you know it. And if you think about it now, and you start giving your future self, some, some love, then you have some time to really have an impact on your trajectory and what your life experience could be like in those future years. So what got me thinking about this is I'm reading a new book and it's called what retirees want a holistic view of life's third age in the book is written by Ken diked Wald.
I think that's how you say his name. He's a PhD, he's a psychologist, a gerontologist, and a bestselling author of 16 books, including age wave. He's done a lot of work in this area. And then the other author is Robert Morrison. Who's a researcher writer and management consultant. So this is a brand new book called what retirees want. And they're calling your retirement phase of life. The third age, and something that I have already stumbled upon in this book is that they found patterns in the attitudes and experiences of people who are retired and it falls into these four different lifestyles. And the lifestyles are based on not just demographics, but also demographics will be things like, are they men or women, the age group, this sort of thing, but also based on psychographics, which is attitudes, beliefs, aspirations, priorities, these sorts of things. And they found four types of retirees.
And I wanted to share these four types of retirees with you. So you can figure out which one sounds more like you today in terms of your attitude about retirement, and if it's even on your radar yet. And hopefully it is, if you are in your forties, fifties, and sixties, it needs to be. So here are the four types and I'm going to read so that you get all the information here and I will read through these quickly, but I want you to get a really good idea of these four types and see where you fit today and where you might want to be in the future. So you can tilt or change your trajectory a bit if you need to. So the first type, there are 20% of retirees that fall into this first type. It's called ageless explorers ages, ageless explorers, see retirement as a time of opportunity, adventure, exploration, and personal reinvention.
They tend to be accomplished in their lives and careers and retirement presents the chance to accomplish even more. Although they want to step back a bit from the burdens and stresses of their careers, they don't intend to wind down. In fact, work has typically been a source of personal fulfillment in their lives, and they often work in retirement, but more for the activity and accomplishment than the money, they are most likely to start businesses in retirement or take teaching positions. They tend to plan ahead and have given considerable thought to their activities and ambitions in retirement. Most ageless, explorers feel energetic and empowered. They tend to be optimistic and happy, active, and informed, and both independent and social. They have self knowledge and they have confidence and they very much enjoy the additional freedom and flexibility that retirement offers. Here's a key point about ageless explorers. They are financially secure in retirement through the combination of successful careers, financial knowledge, and planning. My favorite thing,
And the fact
Of saving for 25 years. And this segment, this type of retiree saves more than any of the other segments I'm going to talk about in this stage of their lives. They want a better balance between work and leisure, and they especially want to focus more on family and have quality time with them, their leisure centers on experiencing and learning new things and continuing to explore their own potential. Most of them want to give back to society through volunteering or donating often as they did before retiring, they tend to be healthy. And when they have health challenges, they are determined to stay physically active. Ageless explorers have rejected the life of leisure definition of retirement in favor of exercising, their freedom to choose new paths. They are in the Vanguard when it comes to actively making the most of their retirement experience. Wow. That one sounds pretty awesome to me.
And, uh, that's certainly what I want to aspire to. And if you've been listening to my podcast for any length of time, you probably know that I'm a big fan of working through retirement, at least for some time, not just for the money, but also for staying engaged and active and connected. I think these things are really important. So I love the ageless explorers category. So again, ageless explorers are 20% of retirees. The next group is called comfortable contents. This group also has 20% of retirees, comfortable content have much in common with ageless explorers in terms of what they've accomplished in their careers and how financially prepared they are for retirement. However, they approach retirement with a more traditional, less driven view. That retirement is a reward for a life of conscientious work. They tend to be well educated and their work provided a good income.
They're less likely to work in retirement. And when they do it's to stay active, as well as earn some supplemental money in retirement, there focuses on recreation, fun and relaxation. They're not necessarily winding down, but rather shifting gears and priorities to enjoy the fruits of their labor, comfortable content view themselves as responsible, hardworking, capable self-disciplined and ambitious in retirement. They most likely have the four segments they're most likely to say they are having fun and are very happy and healthy in retirement. Comfortable contents want to take leisure activities to new Heights. They are the most interested in exotic adventure and extended travel. They very much want their families to enjoy life with them. And they may especially be doting as grandparents. At the same time, they feel less need than other segments to give back to society outside of their families. They've been saving for retirement for an average of 23 years.
And that's second only to ageless explorers. Most have planned invested and achieved financial security, comfortable contents have played the game of you worked hard. So now enjoy retirement and they've played it well. They now see their time in retirement as theirs to fully enjoy. That sounds pretty good too. And actually I misstated this comfortably contents is what they call this type of retiree in the book. So that's 20% of retirees. I would say. I see this one, probably most in my financial practice, people that they're there, they're ready to hang it up. They're ready to go enjoy life. They're healthy, they're active. They want to travel. They want to do adventure travel. Then want to spend time with family and they don't necessarily want to work. It would be nice if work could be optional, uh, but they're not dead set on working through retirement.
Now this is fine. If you've saved enough and you are going to be financially secure by the time you retire, you may not be able to retire as early as you might want to, but it's possible. I also see a number of people who are pretty financially secure and ready to retire, but very open to let's say working, doing something, maybe it's not the very demanding career, but maybe it's a consulting role or something like that up until 65 when they can qualify or be eligible for Medicare and continue to get healthcare health insurance coverage until that kicks in. So that's something you have to think about. If you do retire early, there's a gap there where you've got to have health insurance coverage, and it's extremely expensive when you get into your sixties. Alright, so comfortably contents are 20% of the retiree population. The next category, the live for today's, this is 20% as well.
And I certainly know some live for today's and you may as well listen up to this live for today's. I've had active and very lives and hope to continue with new experiences and adventures in retirement. Even more than ageless explorers, they seek continued personal growth and want to keep reinventing themselves. They have the biggest list of things they'd like to do, and would ideally like for their retirement to be an extension of their free spirited lives live for today's are versatile, idealistic, experimental, hopeful, ambitious to do and learn new things. They're most likely to say they never feel old inside. They like challenges and changes, and they've changed more than most relationships, jobs, and locations. They see life as fascinating and often find it unpredictable. They're not planners. If they could, they would rather be doing it all. Having fun with children and grandchildren, volunteering in the community, making new friends, taking classes and engaging in new activities, hobbies, and intellectual pursuits.
They may have done okay financially, but it was more a matter of pay as you go then save for retirement. Many will need to work a few extra years in retirement to get by. And they're working primarily to supplement their income or build more of a nest egg because most haven't planned or saved enough to live comfortably in retirement. They are frustrated with the financial challenges they face in this stage of life compared to ageless, explorers and comfortably content's live for today's are more worried about everyday expenses, healthcare costs and outliving their money. They run the greatest risk of being derailed financially by health issues. The onset of retirement can be a shock and they may continue to find retirement less fulfilling than they'd like, because they have less flexibility than they'd like, they have regrets about their be here now, lifestyle and wish they would have planned better for this stage of their lives.
Now I know a lot of people like this and in some ways I'm like this, the key is not to let yourself get into this category financially and health wise. So we're got to talk about some things that you can do, even if you, you are in this category in terms of your attitude and your values and your beliefs that can set you up for success down the road. So again, this group is the, the, um, the live for today's 20% of retirees. They get to retirement and they say, Oh, uh, do I have enough money to retire? How am I going to live? How am I going to pay my bills? You don't want to be in that boat.
Now, the last type of retiring is definitely a category you want to avoid, and you have time to make sure you don't fall into this one. And this one, believe it or not. There are 35% of retirees in this category. And it's called the worried strugglers, worried strugglers compared to the other segments are the least ready and able to enjoy retirement. They have fewer financial resources and fewer hopes and dreams for what they'd like to do. They report being more worried, less active, less healthy, and less happy financially. They've done relatively little planning and preparation they've been saving, but if they have been saving, it's been at a lower rate for fewer years. So they have greater reliance on employer pensions, if any, hardly see that anymore.
And they have a greater reliance on social security for retirement income. They're more likely to have to work in retirement to make ends meet, but they're also more likely to have been forced into retirement by poor health. They don't travel spontaneously, but they'll save for the annual getaway. Their physical sphere is generally close to home and family, friends, and neighbors who provide sources of enjoyment. Family support may be needed to sustain them personally and financially many worried strugglers feel that they've been dealt a bad hand late in life. And they're frustrated that others seem to have it better for this segment. Retirement is not the golden years, but instead a largely unpleasant experience yet they report that they're not giving up and most think of themselves as pragmatic and as survivors. So maybe, you know, a few folks like that. I know I do. And having the ability still to take charge now and work on this and think about your future self, give your future self.
Some TLC is just imperative. If you want to have some sort of influence on what your life's going to be like in your third age, your retirement years. So what can you do now to improve your future retirement lifestyle? Well, of course the one thing that I think is the most important is to plan, start planning and mapping out your vision and doing some financial planning, some life planning, that's a critical first step, but also there are little things you can start doing little habits like any habit when you do something over and over again, over time, the benefits really add up, but you can't necessarily see any difference or any impact immediately. And that's why it's so hard for people to stick with habits, but it's those small habits repeated over and over again, that compound over time and become huge in terms of what you can accomplish.
And this is the way it works with investing as well. When you set aside dollars today, some percentage of your income, and I like the idea of 20% or so of your income, that you never see that's going into retirement accounts and savings that money can grow and compound over and over and over over the years. And it can grow exponentially because of the way that investing works. So another example of a small habit, and this is something actually I've been doing here in the last month because my pants were getting a little too tight for my comfort level and I'm pretty active and in shape. And I work out a lot, but I had gotten pretty lazy throughout this whole COVID time. So I've tried to go really low carb. I'm not wanting to do any kind of a fad diet or extreme diet or anything like that, but I like to have a balanced diet, but I have cut my carbs significantly because I, I think I kind of let that get out of control for a while and it's working, but it's, it's working very slowly and I certainly can't tell a difference if I skipped the bread at dinner one night, can't tell the difference the next day.
But the important thing is to stick with the habit and yeah, it's hard, but once you get used to it, it's not that hard. And over time you can start to see some results. It's the same thing. Like if you, if you go out for a walk every day for 20 minutes a day, you start to get more in shape and you start to feel the benefits, the mental and physical benefits of just walking through your neighborhood for a couple, two, three miles. And then after a few weeks, you start to really want your walk. You don't want to miss your walk because it's become more of a habit. And you're feeling the benefits of that. Another area where I have seen the small habits really pay off is as some of you know, I'm a singer songwriter. It's something I do in my spare time, which I've had very little of lately, but I still do this.
I pick up my guitar and I practice. Now, if I only pick up my guitar once a month and practice, let's say for an hour, I lose my groove. I am not quick with my hands. I don't sound, my rhythm is off. You know, it's just not, not good. If I pick up my guitar for 10 minutes a day and pick around on it and strum, and just 10 minutes of focused practice, it is amazing. The difference it makes. So maybe you just start with some tiny habits now that are focused on your wellness and your wellbeing, your work and your career and your wealth. These are my three big themes. My three big areas. I'd like you to focus on and start incorporating some small habits to improve. Not only your quality of life now, but your quality of life for your future self in future episodes. I am going to dig into these habits even more and break them down for you. But for now think about what kind of retiree do you want to be? Are you going to be the ageless, explore the comfortably content the live for today or the worried struggler.
You can find it.
Show notes for this episode at retirement money gap,
All.com forward slash 66. The number six six. If you have a question, the financial question, or even a, a lifestyle question or a question about planning for retirement, email me Stephanie at retirement money, gal.com. And I may talk about your question and answer your question on one of my shows. Thanks so much for listening. I'll be back with you next week. This show is for informational and educational purposes only. Please do not consider any of the content as personalized financial investment tax legal advice.
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