“The Iceberg of Retirement”: Dealing with Hidden Retirement Concerns

Retirement concerns for many seniors can stem from one main concern: finances. How will I afford this? Will this be enough to pay for it? How much do I need to save? And the list goes on.

However, there are other concerns future retirees, especially those with a spouse should look into, namely, the unforeseen issues that may raise when one spouse, or both spouses, chose to retire.

An article published on FinancialAdvisor.com, which discussed emerging trends in the baby boomer market, brought up what writer, Robert Laura, likes to call, “the iceberg of retirement.”

What does this mean?

To Laura, who states in the article “traditional retirement planning is like an iceberg…,” there are more issues at hand when seniors plan for retire than what people traditionally concern themselves about.

Most importantly, he stresses the importance of seniors preparing themselves by talking about these issues with their spouse and choosing a financial advisor equipped to lead them through to a comfortable and fulfilling retirement.

Two of the most crucial items on Laura’s list were “preparing the marriage for retirement” and “staying mentally and physically active.”

That’s not to say the other items are less important but these two, to me at least, may be some of the most overlooked items can cause the most damage.

How?

Think about a marriage where being apart can bring a couple closer. They share their mornings, nights but still have enough time to themselves in order to pursue different interests. If both spouses spend all their days at home together, after years of being apart for at least 10 hours everyday, it may be a hard thing to adjust to.

This is just a scenario but it is one that can be a slippery slope. Giving your spouse time to adjust beforehand may be a more suitable and rewarding experience in the long run than just suddenly appearing at home for all the 24 hours of the day. Of course, every couple is different but financial advisors should be equip to handle this sort of situation should ever arise.

Even more important, retirees should find ways to stay active, even if they’re retired. The “fully relaxed” retirement may be fine in the first few months but retirees should look for new ways to be challenged even if it’s not for profit.

While second and third careers may be the solution for some retirees, retirement planning is not one size fits all. Determine what you want out of your retirement, if and when you retire, and find ways to stay active, even from home. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

It’s not something more people focus on but there are emotional repercussions to retiring, not just physical.

Discuss the tip of the iceberg and the parts of the iceberg that is not easily seen. Combining both into present and future retirement plans can be much more successful and fulfilling the long run.

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