Retirement Circa 2017 (Part 2: The New Retirementality)
Part of my work includes working on a team that provides personal finance professional development opportunities for financial educators and counselors, especially those employed by military installations around the world. On June 6-8, 2017, the team provided a three-day series of webinars about retirement planning. The webinars are available for free viewing at any time, along with downloadable copies of the webinar slides.
The second webinar was by Mitch Anthony, author of the book, The New Retirementality. His overall message was that retirement, as we know it, is an “artificial finish line” and does not fit 2017 lifestyles. When the concept of retirement was developed, people did not live very long afterwards. Today, people can live two or three decades after stepping away from a full-time career. The new “badge of honor” will be working in later life.
Mr. Anthony defined “work” as “an engagement that brings value to others and meaning to you.” It does not have to be for pay. He cited a study that found that “staying healthy” was the #1 reason given for continuing work. He also stressed that older adults bring valuable resources to jobs or volunteer activities: their “intellectual, relational, and experiential capital.” In other words, skills, knowledge, and contacts honed over their careers.
Saving money was mentioned as the means to an end rather than an end in and of itself. Mr. Anthony mentioned that saving money gives people freedom to do what they want with their time. Another key point was that “old” is an attitude- not an age. People decide themselves, by their thoughts and actions, if and when they are “old.”