The Third Age Redefines Lifespan Realities

As we navigate life in the 21st century, the trend that will have the most profound effect on the future of our society (and other industrialized societies) is the “Age Wave.”  In other words, we are living longer and the percentage of older adults is growing at an unprecedented rate.

An important factor contributing to this demographic shift is the aging of the Baby Boom generation—a whopping 76 million Americans who are steadily marching through middle age and into the ranks of “senior citizens.”  Because of their numbers and collective “force of personality,” the impact of Baby Boomers on American life has been likened to “a pig in a python”—a distinct bulge that refuses to “pass through” history unnoticed!  Just as they have redefined every stage of their lives, Baby Boomers are also redefining aging and retirement. (more…)

Target-Date Retirement Funds among the Most Popular Investments for Retirement

According to, investments in Target Date Retirement Funds have shown unprecedented growth among investments for retirement, with numbers “approaching $400 billion, [and] with projected sales of $2 trillion by 2020.” The reasons for this popularity among those investing for retirement are twofold: 1) ease of fund management for investors and, 2) the default status these funds have enjoyed since 2006 – if 401k account holders do not select an investment, employer plans are allowed to “default” the employee’s 401k into a Target-Date fund.

What is a “Target-Date” Retirement Fund?

Essentially, a “Target-Date” Retirement Fund is a very low-maintenance investment vehicle that is designed to adjust the risk level of your investments automatically as you approach retirement age. By setting a Target Date for your retirement when you establish the account, a single investment vehicle, you let the fund manager know when you expect to retire. As the years pass and your target date approaches, the fund will automatically begin to adjust the asset allocation between stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents, becoming more conservative as you age. (more…)

Rethinking Work and Retirement

Writers are taught that all stories must have a beginning, middle, and an end. Our lives have a similar structure; the beginning is the first 25 years, where we learn to live a “grown-up” life. The middle is the next 25 years, where we work to provide for our family and save for retirement. The end is – well, that is the new question for the 21st Century. Is the end of our life story retirement, doing nothing but lounging on a beach for the next, and last, 25 years? Is that what you see for yourself, or would you rather shoot for something more?

It is time to invent a new stage of life: The 3rd Act; The Encore; or Pre-Retirement, or “Pretirement.” It can be called by many different names, but it is all about living life intentionally, the way we want to live, without waiting for “one-day,” or “someday,” or even for “retirement,” whatever that may mean to you. And that is the key, whatever it may mean TO YOU. (more…)

Envisioning Retirement – OMG, What if You Live to Age 100 (or Older!)?

Average life expectancy in the US has increased by 1 ½ years in the first decade of the 21st Century (2000-2010), with fully 2% of the population living to 100 years old or longer (US Census Bureau 2008). With average life expectancy nearing 80 years and climbing, planning for retirement has become more critical than ever, as you may live a third of your life after working (more…)

Personal Retirement Planning Should Include Wellness Planning

Healthy living is not just a fad; is not just something to do to feel better now. Unexpected health care costs can have devastating effects on your retirement, regardless of how diligently you’ve prepared yourself. When you ask yourself the question, “What is retirement planning?” health and wellness must be included in the answer.

A qualified finance planner can help you with every aspect of personal retirement planning; including investments for retirement, as well as helping you understand the value of health and wellness in retirement. (more…)

The Purpose of “Work” in the Second Half of Life

Individuals in mid-life and beyond are increasingly viewing retirement not as a time to relax, but as a time to explore their potential.  It was Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, who gave us the term, “self actualization.”  He called it man’s desire for fulfillment, “to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”

For many, the path to self-actualization is through their “work”—which should be defined as the productive activities, paid or unpaid, that gives their lives meaning and a sense of purpose.  Helen Harkness wrote that linking work to the need for meaning has been a natural evolution: (more…)