Choosing a retirement advisor

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“You know that if you want to quit well before the traditional retirement age of 65, you need a big nest egg. The best way to get there: Save more, a lot more, than the average Jane or Joe.”

I read this remarkably immature statement online this week on a very reputable website.

I couldn’t decide whether I was angry or just confused.

There is no way that an Oldster, someone in retirement already, or someone soon to be taking retirement would speak like that. Even those who are working out their retirement lifestyle ahead of the big event would find incredulity in those words.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the statement as such, it’s just the naivete of it.

I came up with similar daft statements :-

  • If you      want to live healthy, eat healthy.
  • If you      seek inner peace, be happy.
  • If you      want to awaken refreshed, sleep well.
  • If you      want friends, be friendly
  • If you      want more money, make it

You see, none of these could be argued against, but their simplicity is so absurd to be unattainable, and thus meaningless.

Of course a bigger nest egg is wanted by all of us, but it is just not that easy to achieve. Thus, to throw the statement out as glibly as that, in my opinion, insults those of us who are in our later years, especially those of us who have no active income any more, or those of us who are handcuffed to a job, in our sunset years of employment, which has no prospect of huge wage increases between now and our retirement date, early or otherwise..

We cannot turn the clock back and say “Wow, I intend to retire in 3 years, so I’d better get cracking on increasing my income to build that nest egg”. It doesn’t work like that.

Only a person in mid-life could have the ability to say, “save more, a lot more …” I sure hope he/she takes their own advice, because if not, and they want to retire early, they’ll soon find out that “saving more” is extremely difficult in later years.

Once the earning years are drawing to a close, then apart from investment windfalls, the pension pot is relatively fixed. The trick is to make income and expenses treat each other respectfully. By loosely stating that one needs to be bigger than presently structured is a cheap shot, and disrespects those of us who would dearly love to increase our nest egg, but can’t

I do wish that when people write about retirement they would give ample consideration to what it is actually like to be living in the retirement years. It really annoys me to be “advised” to do this, or that, by someone who has not experienced the feelings and emotions and realities of older life. Their day will come, and then, and probably only then, will they understand how stupid their statements were back then.

Rant over.

2 responses to “Choosing a retirement advisor

  1. What’s daft about “save early, save often”? I agree that this advice isn’t very useful for someone who’s 55, but it’s advice I’ve followed since I started my first job. Now, at 60, I’m still working but don’t really have to, and am looking forward to a comfortable retirement based on the assets I’ve accumulated.

    • Great comment Gloria. The issue as I see it is that if you are older and have not been able to “save early” then offering advice to do that, is perhaps too late for most folks, and you can’t go back and start over again.
      Thank you
      Bill

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