Phased Retirement: A Failure to Communicate

The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw famously said, “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

We tend to think we’re pretty good communicators, definitely above average.  But most of us have had someone tell us, “You weren’t clear about that…” Or perhaps, “I can’t read your mind!”  So, while we think we’ve been very clear, it was only the ‘illusion’ of communication.

How does this relate to a phased or staged approach to retirement?

Well, while it’s important for you to think about your retirement, it’s equally important to share your thoughts with the important people in your life!  That could be a spouse or partner, your children or your financial planner or CPA.

You should be having conversations with them about what retirement means for you.  You’ll be sharing your ideas – but maybe more importantly you’ll understand their perspective on your retirement and what it means from their perspective.

Do you intend to work full-time or part-time in a different vocation?  Or possibly open a business or spend significant time volunteering?

Does your view of retirement include a full calendar, or lots of empty space in the days, weeks, and months ahead?

The timing of your retirement can be a big deal for more than just you. Will your spouse or partner retire at precisely the same time as you?  How will you handle the differences if you retire at different times?

Your conversations should extend into what your wishes are if there’s a serious illness or death. These are opportunities to have your financial advisor broker the conversation from a financial and estate perspective.

Strive to overcome the failure to communicate.

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