“Rethinking Retirement: How to Create the Life You Want Without Waiting to Retire” provides a refreshing perspective on retirement.
In his book, Keith J. Weber, CFP® reviews the (quite short) history of retirement in our country and challenges readers to question the 3 retirement myths:
- I have to retire before I can do what I have always wanted to do.
- Retirement means total financial freedom.
- This is how it is supposed to be [our lives should follow a 3-stage path of education, followed by career and then complete retirement at age 65 or earlier.]
Weber suggests a 4th life stage between career and complete retirement: Preretirement. Three powerful trends are driving preretirement: longer life expectancy, better health and earlier retirement age has led to a longer time in retirement; a collective cultural desire to self-actualize - to find meaning and purpose in our lives; the financial need to continue earning an income.
“By adding a new life stage – call it whatever you want – we break free of the myth-assumptions that prevent us from achieving the life we want. When the goal of retirement and the idea that we need to accumulate a small fortune to get there is removed, there is no longer anything preventing us from creating the life we want today.”
Weber proposes a new set of beliefs:
- Work is not the enemy, but meaningless work is.
- Effectively managing our financial resources creates freedom.
- Happiness and fulfillment come from balancing Six Key Life Arenas: purpose, leisure, family/social, health, personal development and financial maturity.
The book includes a number of exercises and resources to help readers identify how they are doing within these Six Key Life Arenas – including a free online self-assessment questionnaire.
All of that is in the first 102 pages. The remainder of the book is a well-presented financial planning primer that some readers may find helpful. It is not ground-breaking but provides a solid financial planning framework.
Weber’s Web site www.retirement2020.com offers additional resources for rethinking retirement.