Friday, May 14, 2010


Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.
Dustin Smith, CFP®

Retirement: To withdraw from one's occupation, business, or office. To retreat to a place of privacy or seclusion. To achieve financial independence. Not too fond of the second definition. Retirement means different things to different people. What matters most, is what retirement means to you.

We have guided clients through each stage of life. The accumulation years. The catch-up years. Retirement. The distribution years. And the Golden Years. No two plans are alike. We run projections. We accumulate and we accumulate. We discuss portfolio design; risk vs. return tradeoff. We help with logistics (paperwork, rollovers, and recurring distributions). We discuss gifting and estate plans. However, the most important discussions have little to do with numbers…

What does retirement mean to you? How does the ideal month in retirement look? What will you do? Where will you go? Who will you see? Does your vision include part-time work? Might there be a void in your identity? What will replace it? What does it feel like to stop working… after 25 years? You may choose a traditional retirement. You may choose to think outside the box. Or you may choose to make the best of your circumstances. But it’s wise to contemplate these questions. Without a purpose, it’s just money.

We can share client experiences. We can guide you through the preparation, implementation and sustainability. We can have these discussions. But you have to – no, you get to do the soul-searching and dreaming.

It often helps to learn from those who’ve gone before us. The following Businessweek article offers a few first hand “retirement” stories:

Struggling with your retirement vision? The following book turns traditional retirement upside down. The author presents a “new” way to think about retirement. His vision may not apply to you. But it will make you think. Remember, there is no right answer, just an answer that is right for you: