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Think Retirement Is Only About Dollars and Cents? Think Again.

Many retirees mistakenly believe that attaining financial security will assure them a fulfilling retirement. That’s where some financial advisors are proactively stepping in—helping clients home in on the non-financial side of the equation.

This includes helping couples determine what could make their retirement meaningful and encouraging each partner to discuss his or her expectations well before either leaves the workforce.

“I see a lot of people who are financially successful in retirement, but they’re not satisfied and happy,” says Beau Henderson, chief executive of RichLife Advisors in Gainesville, Ga. “A satisfying retirement does not necessarily equal a spreadsheet that works mathematically,” he says.

Advisors say they are trying to get clients to think in advance about how they want retirement to look and how they can make the most of their time after leaving the workforce. These nonfinancial types of conversations could become even more important as retirement plans get rejiggered amid the pandemic. Notably, 35% of the 2,320 Americans polled by Northwestern Mutual and Harris Poll in March say they have either moved up or pushed back their target retirement age. Almost a quarter said they plan to retire later than previously expected, and 11% said they plan to retire earlier, according to the study.

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