Don’t let economic uncertainty stop you
from planning the life you want to live
No generation has ever faced this much uncertainty for our next stage of life. We’re heading into a new era. Jobs are in jeopardy, investments are unpredictable, and home values may never recover. Social Security and health care will be changing, just as we need to rely on them.
Planning your finances can’t eliminate the uncertainty. But planning for all the essential parts of your retirement life will help you navigate through it. That’s what this Retirement Workshop does. (Note: It’s not just about money.)
Financial retirement planning is essential, but not enough
We’ve been taught that retirement planning is only about money—which makes it downright boring. Or if it’s not boring, it’s confusing. Now, with the ongoing economic crisis, it’s become horrifying.
Retirement insecurity has increased in almost every area:
- Workers within ten years of retirement are losing their jobs and benefits
- The stock market roller coaster has shaken our trust in our investments
- Lower home values have erased the home equity we wanted for retirement
- Social security is paying out more than it’s taking in, and needs to be fixed
- Medicare and the health care system will still need more changes in the future
All of this adds up to one thing…
Massive uncertainty about the next stage of life
For most of us, the idea of an old-fashioned pension and decades of leisure is dead. It was fine for our grandparents and parents, but probably not feasible – or even desirable – for us. Instead, we need to invent a new stage of life. We’ll live longer and healthier lives, work part-time for money or meaning, and continue developing ourselves and our social connections for as long as we live. Even though it’s different than the old-fashioned version, we’ll probably still call it “retirement.”
When you design this new stage of life for yourself, please keep THREE things in mind:
FIRST, remember that your retirement isn’t the finish line – it’s a marker along the way. While you have many important decisions to make before you retire, you’ll have just as many to make during retirement.
SECOND, remember that retirement planning isn’t only about pensions, 401k’s, IRA’s, annuities, and reverse mortgages. It isn’t just about retirement calculators – it’s about your life.
THIRD, remember that retirement isn’t a problem – it’s an opportunity. It’s true that it will be different, and much more uncertain than you expected. But it’s still your greatest opportunity for a life of freedom and fulfillment!
So if retirement planning isn’t just crunching numbers, then what is it?
Retirement planning is about well-being in every area of life
For many years I was a pension consultant. But then I began researching how we could all plan financial — and non-financial — well-being for retirement. (I completed all the courses for a PhD on the topic.) I learned from leading researchers and down-to-earth practitioners, across many fields. Then I wrote the definitive book on retirement well-being – What Color Is Your Parachute? FOR RETIREMENT.
Now I provide fee-only retirement education, through my workshops and coaching. “Fee-only” means I only offer education, with no hidden agendas. (Most “retirement education” is really designed to sell you investments, insurance, retirement communities or health products.)
Although teaching is my full-time job, the amount of information in the modern world is overwhelming. So I developed the Well-Being Model, as a practical approach for retirement planning and education. It’s been selected by many employers—the federal government, AARP, FORTUNE “Best Companies to Work For” and others.
However, planning is difficult to do on your own, even with the Well-Being Model and the Parachute book. That’s why I developed this Retirement Workshop. Instead of just teaching you “about” retirement, it actually takes you step-by-step down the road. We’ll take the steps together, that move you closer to the life you want to live.
Why this retirement workshop?
This workshop has five advantages over any other approach:
- Unlike conventional approaches that just address money, this covers all the key parts of your life – your prosperity, health and happiness. So whether you love or hate retirement finance, this workshop will be interesting and relevant for you.
- Instead of just trying to solve problems that your retirement is facing, you learn how to build more well-being into your life. So it’s not scary or depressing — it’s actually motivating and energizing.
- Rather than focusing only on a retirement in the future, you address your life today, as well as your next stage. So whether you plan to retire in ten years or ten days, you can apply it right away in your life.
- In contrast to boring programs that are topic-oriented, this workshop is engaging because it’s you-oriented. The core of each module is an interactive exercise about a key topic in one part of your life, and how to plan for what you want.
- It’s not a one-time event that fades away, but an eight week experience that sticks with you. You’ll decide each week whether to devote a few minutes, or a few hours. Either way, you’ll have time to reflect and research that particular module. You’ll have a chance to talk with a loved one, a friend, or an advisor. You’ll take action on just one part at a time, so it’s not overwhelming. Even though each one is easy to complete on its own, by the end of the eight weeks, they add up and so you make significant progress. You’ll be taking concrete action toward the life you want!
When you review the materials, they’ll invite you to imagine your retirement in a new way, and introduce you to the parts of retirement well-being. They’ll help you get ready for the work we’ll do together.
The heart of each module is an interactive exercise for one essential part of your planning. Instead of just being about that topic, though, it’s about that topic within your life. Remember — it’s all about you! (The description of all the modules is in the workshop schedule.) At the end, the eighth module brings all the others together. You create an empowering, complete vision for your next stage of life.
Here’s what participants say about the workshop:
"Helped me organize my thoughts, feelings and ideas."
"I obtained the big picture of what retirement includes."
"Got me to consider or ask many questions that I had not even thought about regarding retirement."
"Actually had some thoughts on what would help make my life more meaningful in retirement."
Bonus Module – Retirement Autopilot
To make sure you take advantage of this workshop, I’m adding a special bonus module. It will help you take action! After all, when we read about retirement on the internet or in books and magazines, we learn — but usually don’t take action. That’s why the workshop uses a step by step approach, and this special module makes sure you keep making progress afterward.
The bonus module is called Retirement Autopilot. It provides a checklist and directions for automating many of your financial retirement tasks, to free you up for more important decisions and actions. Even though you need to plan for all the parts of well-being, finance is still the cornerstone, and Retirement Autopilot helps make that automatic.
John E Nelson