The Three Ages of Retirement

Think you know your retirement number? Think again.  

More specifically, think differently. 

The concept of a singular retirement age isn’t helpful once you start thinking about it. A one-size-fits-all standard would be particularly absurd, but even isolating a magic number specific to your own individual circumstances and goals can hinder your preparation for crossing that threshold.  

Instead, think about the three ages of retirement. And, if you’re still thinking about numbers (59-1/2, 65, and 70, perhaps?), then you should think again. 

Age 1: Preparing 

The first age of retirement begins when the idea of someday retiring changes from being simply words – “When I retire, I won’t work” – and becomes something for which you begin to take action. It might be the first time you look at your employer’s sponsored plan and decide to open another investment account to supplement it. It might be the first time you click a link on a social media post to calculate your retirement income, and you don’t like the result. It could even be with the passing of a colleague or family member, as you reflect on their circumstances and ponder your own.  

Age 2: Transitioning 

The second age of retirement follows the first, years or decades later. Those thoughts of the future altered the course of your financial life, and you’re now prepared – or hoping that you’re prepared – to take the “off ramp” from your career.  

No matter your desired lifestyle, financial planning is crucial to life after work. But then there’s the question of that lifestyle. How will you spend that free time? The emotional or psychological element of retirement is also critical. And finally, closely tied to both financial and emotional health is the physical element as retirees face maintaining – or even having the chance to establish – good health as they age. 

The second age of retirement is a time of life that’s at once exciting and stressful, as you weigh those three elements – financial health, emotional health, and physical health – to make the transition to what’s next. 

Age 3: Enjoying 

Then there’s the third age of retirement. You may be working or not, but your life is no longer driven by career and earnings. Many people think of this as life’s dessert, to be savored. At this point, you’re thinking more about your legacy, and how your life’s work can live on to help the people and causes dear to you. 

Welcome to the three ages of retirement. This is the start of a series where we’ll explore in-depth how to navigate life’s path through these ages with grace. We hope you’ll enjoy, learn from, and contribute to what we’ll be sharing as you join us on that journey.

© 2024 Advisory services offered by Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLC, (“MGIA”) an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). MGIA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Moneta Group, LLC. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, is not intended to be comprehensive or exclusive, and is based on materials deemed reliable, but the accuracy of which has not been verified. 

Trademarks and copyrights of materials referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Index returns reflect total return, assuming reinvestment of dividends and interest. The returns do not reflect the effect of taxes and/or fees that an investor would incur. Examples contained herein are for illustrative purposes only based on generic assumptions. Given the dynamic nature of the subject matter and the environment in which this communication was written, the information contained herein is subject to change. This is not an offer to sell or buy securities, nor does it represent any specific recommendation. You should consult with an appropriately credentialed professional before making any financial, investment, tax or legal decision. An index is an unmanaged portfolio of specified securities and does not reflect any initial or ongoing expenses nor can it be invested in directly. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. All investments are subject to a risk of loss. Diversification and strategic asset allocation do not assure profit or protect against loss in declining markets. These materials do not take into consideration your personal circumstances, financial or otherwise. 


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