Five Things Purpose-Minded High Achievers Face with Retirement
By being proactive, you can create a retirement that aligns with your values as a purpose-driven leader.
A little while back, I interviewed high-achievers—leaders who had built strong businesses, careers, and families—to find out what they were most concerned about when it came to retirement. Though the issues they were concerned about varied and reflected the unique nature of their individual successes, five common themes emerged.
Interviewees feared retirement would lead to a loss of identity, wondered “How much is enough?”, worried that their families would be negatively affected by “sudden wealth,” were concerned about being on the same page with their spouse, and thought that living on their retirement income may require less charitable involvement.
When thinking of retirement, remember:
1. Retirement is a new beginning—not a loss of your identity.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with hundreds of successful people. I can definitively say that every single one of them used their skill, their experience, and their wisdom to create something of meaning.
The person you were doesn’t disappear when you retire. If you successfully plan for retirement, you can take all the skills, experiences, and assets and decide what you want the next phase of your legacy to be.
It can be the beginning.
2. How much is enough? It depends on what you want to accomplish in retirement.
Retirement can bring about a perceived loss of financial control. Throughout their working lives, successful people feel like masters of their financial fates. They create their own income and trust their own resourcefulness to meet their family’s needs. Retirement, of course, means depending on income derived from passive investment vehicles, a transition away from actively building assets to dispersing them.
That is a scary prospect for anyone.
There is no single answer to the question “How much is enough?”
3. Retirement is an opportunity to shape your family’s legacy.
Anyone who has achieved success through hard work, dedication, and living a life that embodies their deeply held values wants to do more than just pass wealth down.
They want future generations and often their community to be a part of a legacy.
They want their heirs to not just be financially secure, but ready, able, and prepared to use wealth the right way. They want their children and their children’s children to view an inheritance not just as “sudden money,” but also as an opportunity to create meaningful lives and share their values with others.
With proactive planning and vision, you can help your family be financially secure—and embody an example of the good things that come when families make their values the focal point of everything they do.
4. When planning your retirement, remember that your spouse is your most important partner.
Retirement is your big second act.
And getting that second act off on the right foot requires you being on the same page with the most important partner you’ll ever have: your spouse.
Often, high-achievers either had a spouse who focused primarily on raising the family, or their spouse had a busy career of their own. Those busy schedules may not have allowed for a lot of joint planning time.
5. With the right strategy, you can become more active in the causes you care about.
Successful people transitioning into retirement often want to share their resources but can find it difficult to identify opportunities for financial stewardship. Often these individuals are left feeling like everyone wants something. Further, many churches, pastors, and nonprofit leaders don’t know how to discuss financial matters. As a result, charitable giving becomes associated with guilt and obligation, rather than one of the most important ways to use your wealth as an expression of your values.
When leaders motivated by their values are free to invest their full range of skills and expertise in a cause they care about, the result is incredibly impactful, and I’ve shared some thoughts about aligning retirement and charitable giving to create a legacy.
Retirement is a big transition, in fact it can be one of the biggest any of us ever make.
Having concerns is only natural—but know that your concerns are shared by other successful people, and with the right planning, you can turn the success you had during your income-earning years into a truly meaningful retirement.