Traits for Successful Retirement

Many individuals nearing retirement have fears and concerns well beyond those that are strictly financial. For men that have attained positions of power (or those in the professions), loss of importance and stature are among the primary issues.

In his excellent book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, author Cal Newport builds a case for accruing skills and traits versus “seeking passion” in your work. His research indicates that passion is often a side effect of mastery. Newport terms the bundle of skills and traits built up over time as “Career Capital.” This is important to understand as the threshold into retirement is crossed. He argues that we should follow “The Craftsman Mindset” – focused on what we offer the world instead of “The Passion Mindset” – focused on what the world can offer us.

The key is being able to replicate the general traits of work success in your post-work life. These traits might include creativity, autonomy, impact, importance, and others. Particularly for men, much of our self image is wrapped up in what we do for a living. Once that stops, what happens to this identity?

As financial planners, we might think of the value we bring to clients mostly in financial terms. In actuality, we often assist clients in making a successful transition from one stage of life into another. Because financial planning touches almost every area of life, we usually end up knowing far more about our clients than any other advisor.

As always, we are happy to sit down with friends, colleagues, or family members who might benefit from our independent perspective.  Ready for a real conversation?

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