The Evolution of Retirement Planning

McCarthy, Ed
May 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;May2002, Vol. 15 Issue 5, p60
Academic Journal
This article examines the changes in retirement planning in the U.S. as of May 2002. The Journal of Financial Planning asked several financial planners, all with ten or more years' experience in retirement planning, to discuss how their approach to retirement planning has changed in the past decade. Although their individual perspectives differed, most cited the same major influences on their work such as recognition that clients' retirement spending patterns change with age, software that allows variability in asset return and inflation assumptions, recognition that sustainable withdrawals from retirement plans are lower than previously thought and increased role of quality-of-life issues. Retirement planning often goes beyond merely crunching the numbers. Having adequate funds is an important goal, but many advisors have found that clients are just as concerned about the quality of their post-retirement lives. Bill Bengen, chief financial planner and president of Bengen Financial Services Inc. says that he has some clients approaching their mid- to late fifties who are looking to retire early. They require special help to get them ready for that period of time, particularly in the area of what they plan to do during retirement and how they plan to structure their lives. People want more out of life than simply going off to some South Sea island and spending the next 30 years sipping cocktails on the beach. They still want to be actively involved in their community and contributing and feel they are leading a useful life, even though they are not going to work per se.


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