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Do you have a non-financial retirement plan?


There are two trends I have noticed that significantly impact retirement planning. First, people are retiring on average at around age 60 versus our parents who retired at about age 65. Second, people are living about 10 years longer, on average, than people did 25 years or so ago. The combination of these two trends results in a retirement period that is 25-30-35 years long versus 10 years a couple decades ago. This has created a financial challenge of immense proportions for many people but it also creates a personal challenge that often is overlooked.

Planning for retirement is more than just making sure the finances work; it also means planning for an extended period of time not consumed by work. Whether we like it or not, work consumes a majority of our waking hours during the bulk of our adult lives so we have limited time in which to do other things. When work stops, we feel a sense of relief that the burden of work has been lifted, but … at the same time, many may experience a sense of being lost because we no longer have the structure and time commitment that work required. Having a few days away from work is a blessing; never working again may, for many, be a curse.

I frequently see with retirees — they are still vibrant and in good health; they just often lack activities or events that provide meaningful socialization and human interaction. I know lots of people who love to golf and do so on a regular basis three times a week. I often wonder, do they really love golf that much or do they just lack other interests. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE golf (most days anyway) as much as the next person but not enough to spend three days of the week at it in my retirement years.

What is your non-financial retirement plan? Have you thought about doing something you have always wanted to try; taking classes at the local community college and/or community center, taking on a part time job that provides satisfaction or volunteering at a church, school or non-profit organization?

While each person has different interests, all of us have a need to feel relevant at every stage of life, to feel that who we are and what we do matters. Think about those things that you would love to learn or have always wanted to try. Do art or cooking classes interest you? Does volunteering at your local library sound like fun? Would tutoring children (or adults) sound rewarding to you? Have you always wanted to take piano lessons? What about starting or joining a book or garden club? Does volunteering for Sea Turtle Patrol sound exciting? The possibilities are nearly endless!

Obviously, we help guide our clients through the financial strategies of retirement but we also discuss and often help guide them through the non-financial aspects of retirement as well. Both are ultimately very important in retirement planning.

Keeping the mind, body and spirit engaged and active is key to a long and healthy life.

* Always check with your doctor before beginning or changing an exercise or activity routine.

Frederic “Ric” Schilling is a Florida native, born in Jacksonville, Fl. Ric is President of Senior Guardians of America, a local North Florida firm specializing in tax reduction, long term illness planning, asset protection, probate avoidance and life income planning. Ric is a National Speaker and Advocate on Senior Issues and has been featured by the Florida Times Union and WJXT, TV-4 in Jacksonville as an authority on Estate Planning and Retirement Issues. Senior Guardians has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member in excellent standing with the National Ethics Association. Contact Frederic : 904-371-3302 or 888-891-3381 Please visit:

This article is not intended to give tax or legal advice. Securities offered through Center Street Securities, Inc.(CSS), a registered Broker-Dealer and Member of FINRA & SIPC. Senior Guardians is independent of CSS.