We continue as I was sharing last time in Matching Pension to your LIFESTYLE ... No no one can live long and healthy without a sense of Purpose and Significance.  We need to be needed.  We need to be ...and feel useful in the bigger picture of things, for family and loved ones, even for others in our wider human family.   So here is the second question in our recent survey of retirement readiness, as we've picked up also in personal interviews.

Your response to Survey Question #2: 

To Expand Life’s Purpose & Significance in Retirement I may

Pic _ Pension 2No one can live long and healthy without a sense of purpose and significance.  For some people work is a mindless and meaningless tedium they need to escape.  Over 11% in our survey want to hasten leaving their career or business in order to explore ways to increase their sense of contribution and life-value.   Some on the other hand will struggle to replace in retirement the valued sense of purpose they enjoyed through their work and career:   40% say they will find a way to keep working “as it offers purpose and something to do.”  Over 35% agree (overlap) they can adapt their career or business to achieve a “next-stage, new purpose” to fulfil this area for them.  As well, 40% see new areas of “leisure” as fitting into their purposeful and significant lifestyle for retirement.

What can this mean for your pension choices?

Wonderful as they may be, pensions haven’t the power to wake you up in the morning with an invigorating sense of purpose.  Most will appreciate the money, and yet a surprising number can depress themselves with the feeling somehow that they’re not earning this money, that they don’t deserve or want this “pasture.”  Such feelings, untended and unrelieved, can be major cause of early death.   How many have passed away after 6 months or a year of drawing pension?

Don’t buy into the idea that retirement planning is just about money.  Consider how to bring your Life into focus, and the relationships and family that mean most to you.  Also how will you keep healthy physically and engage yourself mentally?   Each of these is as important -- or moreso!! -- as the actual money you receive in pension income.

You attended a retirement seminar;  they talked about pension options, how to fill in forms, how to reach HR or someone to answer your questions but they never talked in that seminar about how we can be living significantly!   Never for a moment believe pension presentations are all there is to preparing for retirement.  Tell your friends, discuss it at home and when you’re out.  Share with others what you’ve told me in this survey and in our interviews together (...or in comments you share below after reading this).

Let’s explore a few of these comments and stories you’ve shared with me.

- TJ is developing a “new retirement” career that will support basic needs and enjoyment in the first ten years or so without drawing on pension values.  TJ has been wanting more out of life and work, so finding a vital need and a way to fulfil that need, TJ is ready to surge forward in this new business opportunity.    Pension decisions will fit excellently into this picture, to maximize income from 70 onwards (or dip in sooner for casual amounts if needed).

- Pat’s story is in A Lifetime Of Wealth (p.39) as she commuted the pension to seed a new business.  Eventual sale of this business will supplement what continues of her pension, thus expanding Purpose and Capacity for self, family, and community.  Ending chronic hunger and homelessness are among Pat's commanding interests (locally and globally) so her financial and pension decisions will help expand the resources she can contribute personally and financially in helping others.

- J&G are passionate to expand volunteer activities and are ready to retire in 3-5 years.  Volunteering has been deeply woven into the fabric of their families for generations.  Combining this with travel they can enrich their experience of marriage together.  ...also encourage their children and next generations to continue building such higher Purpose and lasting Significance.  Pension and other savings can support this impact of socially-conscious living from their later-50s and as long as health and stamina will permit.

- Marie and her husband (see p.37, A Lifetime of Wealth) were both fighting cancer.  Gratefully, they’re living successfully with it.  When a pension decision needed to be made they wanted to ensure death wouldn’t cheat their family of the hard-earned value represented in Marie’s pension.  She commuted it so when they’ve both passed on, the (after-tax) value will go to their grandchildren.  All smiles, she proudly completed the papers knowing how rare and fortunate her grandchildren would be to actually inherit a pension!  Have you heard of such a thing before?  Do you know anyone who would want to consider this?

Writing your own story ...your own MOVIE!

Consider your own sense of Life and Purpose, your values today and for your future.  Where do you find your sense of importance?  ...the feeling that your life is truly and vastly significant not just to yourself but also to others around you?  When we get right down to it, what makes the difference in feeling that life truly matters and is worth living through the ups and downs, illness and recovery, from today to our olden years?

Give this some healthy time to think it over.  Then can you write the movie of how you'll go forward -- expanding your sense of purposeful significance, enjoying each moment and season?  And with this, we can then align how your pension decisions can accelerate and secure the way ahead.

If there isn’t a pension plan or it's too small to support life-long income needs, you will then need some further insights and discussion.  Some of these avenues can include:  (i) building a strategic design of LIFE ANNUITIES to approximate what a pension should give you,  (ii) strategic SALE OF BUSINESS  or another major asset from which we can secure your Life Income,  (iii) tapping HOME EQUITY through various ways we share elsewhere to assure an income that will sustain your life of purpose.

Together we can match pension decisions so we are LIVING SIGNIFICANTLY now and through all the years to come!  We'll explore this through any combination of (i) adapting or leaving your career, (ii) designing "new retirement" careers, (iii) expanding your leisure, (iv) expanding how giving to others expands your feelings of purpose, personal identity and enduring value.

Is now the time to get professional support?  Is someone close to you needing assistance and confidence for their future?  If we can help you or someone you know, phone or email me today.  ...reach me today at...

Brian Weatherdon, MA CFP CLU CPCA CRC, MDRT.   905-637-3500 x 223
627 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario. L7R 3M7.   1-877-937-3500 FREE x 223
Ret.Coach SEALCertified Financial Planner.  Certified Retirement Coach. 



1 comment

  1. Brian

    An excellent article that covers the heart of the matter in an articulate and easy to comprehend manner.
    A must read for those approaching retirement and for the young who have given little thought to this subject and will face a difficult time saving the amount necessary to be comfortable in retirement.

    Brian Kremer

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