Have you ever noticed that when meeting someone new, we often ask what they do or where they work as one of the first questions? As if their profession will tell us what kind of person they are, but who are we without our job?
Have you ever tried answering the, “who am I?” question without talking about your job or profession? I can’t do it, and it’s been troubling me. We all should be more than our job description or the role we are currently playing.
Each chapter is defined on the road to retirement, also known as life. First, I was my parent’s kid, Mark and Mary’s daughter. Then, a college student and Kappa Delta. Next, I was a financial analyst for ConAgra Foods. Then I became a financial advisor. Then a wife to my husband, Tyler, and a mom to my son, Luke.
I am sure that on my journey to retirement, I will add more titles and roles, just like many of you have, but who am I when that is all taken away? Who am I when I retire from these roles?
At Stein Financial Group, we strive to help our clients live the Good Life now and throughout retirement. We help them retire from work, but what are they retiring to? Who are we without work?
This is an important question. One I am struggling to answer, yet I have some time. For those of you wanting to retire now or in the next five years, I challenge you to find the answer soon. Because statistically, I have learned that over 40% of retirees will experience anxiety or depression within the first six months of retirement and that divorce rates go up within the first two years of retirement.
Most of our clients are ready to retire from work due to burnout and are most concerned about whether they have the cash flow to do it. I love that part of the job, telling someone they can retire and have the cash flow to make it happen. But we must also be ready to retire to something for us to live a Good Life in retirement. I don’t want to be a part of those statistics. I want to live life fully now and when I am done working.
So, who are we without our job, and what are we retiring to?
As financial advisors, we have a fiduciary responsibility to answer the question of if you have the cash flow and assets to retire from work. I think we are morally obligated to help our clients retire to something of purpose as well.
My search for this answer has been challenging, and I don’t see it getting easier. It’s a deep inward reflection on the life I want to live and the relationships I want to have with myself, my family, my friends, and my community. It is about how I want to prioritize my time and how I want to be remembered as a person and not my job title. I will put in the work because I want to answer that question and be proud of that answer. I hope you all do too.
To the Good Life.
Thank you to Jeff for letting me share a monthly Life Lesson with all of you. I hope you all found it at least half as insightful as I always find Jeff’s, and I look forward to his next lesson!