retirement planning

Why Financial Retirement Planning Is Not Enough

Patricia Bagsby, Ph.D., Vice President of Organizational Consulting, is back on the blog! Today, she’s sharing some ways to evolve your thinking on retirement planning.

No doubt about it: Planning is critical for successfully transitioning to retirement. Financial planning practitioners provide tools and resources related to how to save money, when to save money, and even coaching on where to save money. There is no arguing that these services are beneficial. However, financial retirement planning is not enough.

Are Our Demands Outweighing Your Resources

Finances are not the only resource or demand on pre-retirees (workers age 50 or older).

According to research on personal resources, time and energy are two other categories of finite personal resources you should consider in determining what you’re able to expend in order to meet demands. In other words, you only have a certain amount of money, time, and energy. Once you spend it, it’s gone.

There’s no “one size fits all” approach for how to spend your resources to get to an optimal retirement. The types of demands (perceived and actual) each individual has competing for these finite resources is as varied as the number of pre-retirees.

This variability does not negate the ability to plan for when, where, and how to expend your non-financial resources (time and energy). Each unique financial portfolio can be managed and coached for mitigating problems and optimizing successes. Similarly, coaching and training on non-financial retirement planning can assist you in assessing your “psychological portfolio” and mapping out steps for realizing a successful transition to retirement.

Tips for How to Make a Better Retirement Plan

You can set yourself up for success by evaluating your own personal resources (financial, time, and energy) and expand your retirement planning to include non-financial aspects.  Here are some tips to help you build a better retirement plan:

  1. Assess your resources, demands, and stress response.
    Evaluate the demands that are pulling on your personal resources (money, time, and energy), and assess your own reaction when those demands strain your resources to the point of exhaustion.
  2. Continue to make smart financial decisions, and make smart psychological decisions too.
    Do you value your well-being as much as your wallet?
  3. Manage your resources wisely.
    Personal resources are finite. Time is extremely fixed. Money is fairly fixed, with some exceptions (part-time work, consulting post-retirement, etc.). Energy is the one personal resource that can be impacted through choice (sleep, diet, exercise). You can impact money and energy (to varying degrees); you cannot impact time.
  4. Consider enlisting professional help.
    Just like a financial advisor, a Consultant from Psychological Associates can help you develop a personalized plan for how, when, and where to invest your time and energy in order to successfully transition to retirement.


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