Why Planning for Your Platinum Years or Third Act is a Must

We are often asked why the baby boomers have yet to depart their firms. In the professional services industries, there has been much anticipation since the late 1990’s for this time to arrive, and that time is well and truly with us now.

Apparently there are some 5+ Mill people in the baby boomer generation in Australia. That’s between 20% and 25% of our population potentially retiring now and in the short term. Many working with and in the professions have endeavoured to encourage some planning for this significant event but our advisers just don’t seem ready.

Some of the summations as to why our baby boomer advisers aren’t ready to transition to their ‘platinum years’ or ‘third act’, as those within the US like to call it, supposedly centers around a need for greater funding for retirement. Many have a disinterest in playing golf seven days a week, the desire to remain mentally simulated and the lack of hobbies and other interests to keep them busy and engaged post practice life.

It would be fair to say that most of these comments have a degree of truth to them. With the general population now living longer, the nest egg to fund the retirement is likely to be larger. Remaining mentally engaged and simulated is a significant factor for many business owners.

They want to keep their grey matter active, and often because they have few hobbies or interests outside their firms, they find it difficult to identify what they are going to do to keep active once they have moved on. Often we are simply too busy to develop and nuture outside interests, however it’s becoming increasing clear that we all need to spend some time on this activity.

It was really sobering recently when I spoke to a practitioner who described it in a nut shell. Of his clients, around 80% of those who had retired but had few outside interests and hobbies to keep them engaged and busy had died within the first five years.

Conversely, of all the clients who remained active and busy within those first five years, approximately 80% of them were still alive. When I think back to those practitioners who I have watched retire before their peers, all of them had a clear plan as to what they were going to spend their post professional time doing and in many instances that involved utilising their professional skills in a part-time voluntary capacity.

Whether the experience of that one practitioner with whom I spoke to regarding the life span of his clients post retirement is shared by others, or not, it definitely highlights the need for and importance of planning for post professional life.

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