Paul "Bear" Bryant announced his retirement as head football coach at Alabama effective with the end of the 1982 season. His last game was a 21-15 victory in the Liberty Bowl over the University of Illinois. He had intended to stay on with the University as athletic director but died on January 26, 1983 after checking into a hospital in Tuscaloosa with chest pains. His death came less than a month after his last game as a coach. He was 69.
This is just one story of many I have heard about people retiring and soon thereafter dying. Was it depression? A lack of a reason to live? It is said that with Bryant it was a combination.
I have just read some results of a poll conducted in Canada suggesting that many Canadians over the age of 45 are preparing their finances for retirement but are not quite ready for what it will entail. Actually, 31 percent say they are well prepared financially for retirement but a scant four percent say they are ready for the transition to a retirement lifestyle.
According to one source that was involved in the survey, while money is still an important factor for retirement, more and more people are looking at their happiness after the work period is done. In other words, if people don't prepare for some of the emotional changes that come with jumping off the work treadmill, they are going to be in for a shock.
Now, here's the dilemma. Although many people look as though they are ready to talk with their planner about post-retirement matters, it seems that many planners or advisors are simply not equipped to deal with the emotional issues involved. They appear to be locked into a financial circle looking solely at whether the client's money will outlive the client and if not, what to do about it.
The real problem deals with what are called the non-financial aspects of retirement. Consequently, the survey conducted by Investors Group, asks questions in five specific categories: work/life balance, social network, health, retirement attitude, and financial readiness. What seems to be coming out of the answers is that people, as they got closer to the retirement bell, say they are financially okay but those same people don't say they have developed any activities or social networks for what will come when they get up that Monday morning and don't have to head for the commuter train.
In fact, in line with the report, only 20 percent of these Canadians polled say they even have made a commitment to activities outside of work. I mean, how much Oprah can you watch?
According to Randy Swedburg, chairman of the applied human sciences department at Concordia University in Canada, although financial advisors are beginning to wake up to the idea that they are helping people to plan their finances, these same people are unsuccessful in retirement even if they have the money, "because they don't know what to do and they don't have the skills for retirement."
As a planner, it would be an understatement to say that the emotional aspect may be just as important as the financial.
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