We often times see retirement portrayed as a relaxing, care-free period of one’s life. Commercials show jovial retirees sitting in bathtubs on mountains, going on cruises, or spending time with family. While this certainly can be a reality (minus the bathtubs) for some people, the reality of retirement for the majority of Americans is starkly different.
What do your clients want their retirement to look like?
While it’s certainly an exciting time for your clients, you need to convey preparedness and expectations given their financial situation. The question is: how exactly do you do that?
There are a few tips you can give your clients on how to retire with confidence. The main one being “save early and save often.” However, even the best intentioned clients may not be putting enough away to retire. Spending habits are often hard to break if they’re already accustomed to a certain lifestyle. This is fine if they have a proper understanding of what their retirement will entail. The tough clients are the ones who want to spend now and have it all in retirement.
When the reality is tougher than expected
One Redditor posted her experience with parents who failed to save enough. Her account is a sobering purview into many American’s lives who are nearing retirement. Baby Boomers who failed to save enough for retirement are now hooked on a lifestyle they cannot afford. Does this remind you of any of your clients? Hopefully not, but its not unreasonable to think that someone with a skewed view of their golden years will walk through your doors before you yourself retire.
It’s important, as always, to treat these people with dignity. Often times they are simply following a societal outline of how to live their life. They think they are doing the right thing or are spending in accordance with what’s expected of them. Addressing their finances for retirement can be a very unpleasant wake up call.
Keep in mind that most of them often have no way to rectify the situation, either. Work with them to come up with a realistic plan of what their retirement will look like and try to convince them that some retirement (even if a lifestyle adjustment is necessary) is better than none at all.
There will be a glut of retirees facing this reality in the coming years. Your job is simply to work with them inside of the financial confines they have put themselves in and help them plan accordingly. Giving people a path to retirement should be a rewarding experience in and of itself, even if it’s difficult.