Ep 52: Retirement Planning From A Psychologist’s Point Of View

On This Episode

We always talk about the money side of financial and retirement planning. But what about the mental aspect of that big life change? Today we’ll break down an article written by a Licensed Professional Counselor (Kate Schroeder) for Psychology Today, titled The Psychological Investment In Retirement.

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PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. The topics and information discussed during this podcast are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk, and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed on this podcast. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Insurance products and services are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed insurance agents.

Here is a transcript of today’s episode:


Speaker 1: Welcome into another edition of Retirement Planning Redefined. Thanks for hanging out on the podcast with John, Nick and myself, as we’re going to talk about retirement planning from a psychologicalist… Can’t talk, from a psychologist point of view. Say that three times fast. What’s going on, guys? How’re you doing this week?


Nick: Pretty good. How’re you doing?


Speaker 1: Apparently I can’t talk, but other than that I’m doing all right. What’s going on with you, John, my friend? How’re you feeling?


John: Pretty good. I think last time we spoke, I don’t know if I mentioned in the podcast, I was getting ready for kind of lumbar spine surgery. So, four weeks out and feeling pretty good, so everything went well, as far as I can tell and looking forward to rehabbing and getting back to normal.


Speaker 1: Good. Good to hear. Nick, my friend, I think we’re taping this just before the beginning of September. You and I are, I think John is too, football fans for sure. And so, it’s just around the corner. By the time we drop this podcast, it should be out. So, looking forward to the new season?


Nick: Oh yeah. Yep. Bills are opening up this season next Thursday night, so [inaudible 00:00:57] I’m pretty excited about that. Yeah.


Speaker 1: Very good. Very good. So good. Well, that’s always a fun time of the year for a lot of sports fans, so they’ll be happy to have that back. But let’s talk about, and I guess if you want to think about that analogy for a second of sports fans, we get kind of… Lots of people, sports fans get pretty depressed when the football season ends or whatever season it is that they’re into, sport they’re into. And then they get rejuvenated when it gets closer. Well, if you think about this from a retirement planning standpoint, a lot of people get pretty stressed, clearly, it’s a big difference, I understand, but I’m just kind of using that as an analogy to when it comes time to making that shift from working into actually being retired. So, there’s these big mental hurdles, if you will, to major life changes. So, we’ll put the link in the show notes as well, but we’ll break down this article written by a licensed professional counselor, Kate Schroeder, hopefully I’m saying that right, for Psychology Today and titled The Psychology of Investing for Retirement… Excuse me, The Psychological Investment of Retirement. As I mentioned earlier, I can’t talk today. So, let’s talk a little bit about this because, Nick, I know you got a little bit of a story to share along the lines of this as well, but a lot of people don’t consider, and this is kind of the first key point, the consequences of what that transition looks like when they walk away from something, the routine, the definition maybe, whatever term you want to put to it, that their life has had for a number of years, and they go into retirement. It’s a big, big hurdle for people.


Nick: Yeah. We’ve had a bunch of clients retire recently in the last couple of years, my parents have retired recently, so I see it a little bit more on the personal side with them and the transition for people, especially during a time we’ve had the last couple of years during COVID, post-COVID, people typically need purpose and structure. And so, for those that are not used to having that extra time, or maybe they weren’t self-employed, or maybe they got up and went to the office every day, they had that redundant kind of structure that at times, I’m sure they didn’t like, but maybe didn’t necessarily realize how big of an impact it had on kind of their overall life and their planning. Having all that extra time and having to find ways to fill that time and not kind of have it just turn into a black hole of sleeping in, just maybe watching TV, watching the news, doing things that aren’t necessarily healthy for you, or kind of keep your mind sharp and going. The feedback that we’ve gotten from quite a few people is that that transition has been a little bit more difficult than they expected.


Speaker 1: For sure. John, the author goes on to point out that the number one thing retirees struggle with is finding something consistent and kind of genuine or lasting in what they’re moving to. So, we need purpose as people, we need to find something that, I don’t know, makes us want to get out of bed, so to speak.


John: Yeah. Yeah. I would a hundred percent agree with that. I think finding something that has meaning to you or someone else, or really, I would say just helping people. I think what I’ve seen a lot of people where they’ve struggled with that, it’s like, “Hey, what do you enjoy doing? What can you do to help some other people or even family?” So, I’ve found a lot of people get fulfillment from that. So, whether it’s finding a charity that you’ve kind of probably, maybe want to participate in and never had time to, at this point, it’d be a good time. I’ll use my parents as an example, they watch my kids two to three days a week and that kind of gives them some consistency and purpose. It’s funny, my dad will actually… They’ve been retired for a little bit, but I can tell when he is getting bored, when he calls me up and he’s like, “Anything you need to be done around the house that I can come do?” And I’m like, “Yeah, sure, come on over.” So, for at least them, their consistency is their grandkids and kind of helping out family, but I think everyone needs to find kind of what’s important to them to give them some meaning and some level of importance to the ones around them and themselves.


Speaker 1: For sure. Well, as humans, look, I mean for a lot of ways we looked forward to retirement. We’re like, “Yes.” Maybe you’re tired of your job. You’re like, “I can’t wait to get out of here. This is going to be awesome. I’m going to do nothing.” But at some point the lack of structure does kick in and we kind of require that, we kind of crave that, I think as a species. We need some guardrails or something just to keep us on the track if you will. And so, people view their time off or that break as more of a stressful period because maybe there’s just nothing… Something productive is not there. Or even just the accomplishment of completing tasks. So, it can be that simple. And imagine when you guys are dealing with retirees, again, that’s the big hurdle. They have the excitement of wanting to be retired, but then at some point they do need that structure to be there. And maybe for some people that’s, Nick, I don’t know, going back to work or maybe finally starting some hobby thing they’ve always wanted to do. I’m sure you have clients ask about that.


Nick: Yeah. For some people it can be… We’ve had some clients that do a great job with it, that are almost more busy than they were when they were working.


Speaker 1: That’s the old saying, too. Right?


Nick: Yeah. Yeah. Have that mindset of maybe it’s lifelong learning, that sort of thing. And then they take up, whether it’s a sport or activity like golf. Or we had one client recently who has been trying to learn a new language and traveled and went and stayed in the country that they were trying to learn the language and kind of immersed themselves in it. And that was something that they really enjoyed kind of doing. And so, one thing just because this has been on my mind a little bit, just kind of seeing different clients go through it is just thinking further out, down the line, and even personally for myself, what are the things that I enjoy doing? What do I like to do? And one thing I’ve realized is, and it sounds pretty basic, but just getting outside, just being outside, even if it’s just for a walk or going for a bike ride, walking along the water, fortunately we have that here, can be a really good mental reset. So, that’s one thing I’ve heard from people where if they’re finding themselves maybe kind of falling into a routine that they’re not a fan of, having some sort of reset activity that kind of snaps them out of it, gets them going out, doing different things. It’s almost like the snowball effect where just doing one or two new things will oftentimes spur you into trying other things.


Speaker 1: Yeah, for sure.


John: Nick actually, and I’m following next month, you just hit 40 this year, so I think he’s giving some personal experience on his midlife reset here.


Speaker 1: Is it midlife at 40 or have we moved that to 50? Because I’m 50 and I feel like it’s now.


John: For myself about turn 40 next month, let’s say it’s moved to 50.


Speaker 1: Okay. All right. Yeah. I’m feeling it pretty heavy right this minute, so maybe 50 is better. You both got a ways to go, so that’s okay. So, I was going to pivot to your practice or just your clients in general. Do you see people that sometimes come in mentally prepared for this at all? And either whoever wants to answer, feel free to answer, but where they kind of come in and they’re already leading that charge by saying, “Hey, I’m a little worried about the transition,” or asking for advice on that, or even just saying, “Yeah, I’m prepared. This is what I want to do.”


John: Yeah. Yeah, I think we see that quite a bit. We see it a lot when, let’s say, one spouse is retiring early.


Speaker 1: Oh okay. Good point. Yeah.


John: I think when that happens, it’s the person that’s retiring early starts to think, “Hey, what am I going to do while you’re working?” So, I’ll say those people are typically thinking ahead of the game of, “Hey, while he or she’s working, I need to find something to do. And this is what I’m going to do.” And we’ve had people that get into photography or start doing kind of more physical activity, whether it’s running, bike and things like that, just kind of becomes more of a routine like we talked about. So, I’ll say yeah, I think we see a lot of clients that do start to mentally prepare for it. And normally if it’s a couple situation, it’s kind of what we like to do together, whether it’s traveling or whatever it might be, but we definitely see that quite a bit.


Speaker 1: Yeah. I’m five years older than my wife, and so she teases me already. She’s like, “I don’t know what I’m going to do if you retire before me,” she’s like, “Which you probably will.” She’s like, “I don’t know if I’m going to be jealous about that or not, it depends.” So, that’s yet to be seen in my life. Nick, when you guys have people that are struggling here, is there a role that you guys can play as advisors that help in that? Can you share other things you’ve seen or have you kind of encountered that where you do get leaned on?


Nick: Yeah. So, I would say what we tend to see people that have worked their whole lives, they’re transitioning into retirement and they have done a good job saving, but they have a little bit of a scarcity mindset. And they’re really concerned about whether or not they can afford something or by default, that’s one of the benefits that… That’s one of the things that have probably helped them throughout their working years save more money, was being a little bit more on the conservative side, but then in retirement they find themselves struggling to use the money that they saved up. And so, from a planning perspective, we try to tell people that, “Let us tell you now. So, whether it’s a thought process of you want to consider getting a second home in the mountains, or you want to bump up your travel budget for the first 10 years of retirement, or there’s a certain sort of, whether it’s a social club or a golf course or something that’s going to help kind of bring stability to your life, but you’re concerned about the money aspect of it. Let us run the numbers for you and show you that it’s okay.” And we go through different scenarios. And what we’ve found is because for many people, we’re trying to help them just improve their decision-making process when it comes to finances, and so we really try to help focus on the fact that we don’t want them to be self-limiting. The goal for us working together is to communicate for them to share with us what’s important to them, so that we can help get them there from a financial perspective, or at least give them the confidence they need to go ahead and make that decision. And frankly, we see that… We get emails or calls every couple of weeks on these people that are starting to make that transition and think about those sorts of things, so that’s probably the most fun part about what we do.


Speaker 1: That’s cool. Well, we’ll wrap it up with this kind of last little question here to follow this up. Is this something you guys actively include that’s kind of a softer side, if you will, of the financial planning process, not just the Xs and the Os? Is it something you think about as a team that you guys discuss these other parameters that’s not just again the Xs and Os? John, if you want to answer or either one of you guys or both.


John: Yeah. I think it is something that we consider and I think it’s a case by case, so not for everyone do we kind of go into this with planning, but specific individuals where we feel like, “Hey, maybe they need a little bit of guidance or a little assistance on some options, what’s out there, we’ll definitely go into it.” And in the classes that we teach and go through, there’s a section of the book that actually has some resources where pre-retirees, or retirees can go in and kind of see what’s out there. What are people doing? It’s always good to hear what others are doing to give you an idea of like, “Oh, I didn’t realize this was out there. I can do this.”


Speaker 1: Nick, anything else?


Nick: Yeah, I would just say kind of a little bit of what I alluded to in the last portion where just trying to get them to think about things more broadly, and instead of kind of going through… Because so many people, it’s like they have a friend or a brother or a sibling or whatever that did this or that did that. And they’re used to kind of sitting back and watching and maybe not participating as much. And so, them just really kind of being comfortable enough to open up to us, tell us what they really want to do, so that we can help figure that sort of thing out. From a financial perspective… To arm them with the information they need from a financial perspective, to be able to make the decisions that they want from a lifestyle perspective, I think is one of our top goals.


Speaker 1: Well, again, it’s a huge component of retiring, we get so focused on the Xs and the Os, making sure do I have enough money to retire, all that kind of stuff. And obviously that’s clearly important, but there is a lot to think about from the mental side, getting prepared to step away from maybe something you have been doing for 20, 30, 40 years, whatever the case is, how it affects the other person in your life. There’s a lot of little parameters that go into retirement other than just the money. And so, that was the point this week here on the podcast. Again, we’ll include the link to this reporter, this article from Kate Schroeder that we talked about here today on the show. And before we go, Nick, I wanted to give you a chance to mention, you guys have an upcoming class pretty soon here if folks would like to get involved. Give us a little bit of a rundown on that please.


Nick: Yeah. So, John had mentioned earlier in the session that we do classes and we know a lot of our clients have come through those classes, so starting on September 15th, we’ll be holding our normal Retirement Planning Today class at the Pasco-Hernando Porter Campus. It’s a two day session, so it’s about three hours each day. People can attend on the 15th and the 22nd, which are Thursdays, or the 20th and the 27th, which are Tuesdays. And so, we go through a full gamut of information. We bring an attorney to go through the estate planning portion of the class. And we always welcome those that have come through the class already, they’re always welcome to attend again as well. So yeah, just wanted to let everybody know that was coming up.


Speaker 1: Yeah. Good stuff. Now, this podcast is probably dropping out shortly before that, so what’s probably the fastest way to see if there’s still space available? Just to call the number? Just to call the (813) 286-7776?


Nick: Yeah, go ahead and give the office a call or shoot either John or myself an email and we can do the connection for you.


Speaker 1: Okay. So again, it’s (813) 286-7776 if you’d like to attend that Retirement Planning Today class, or you could email John or Nick, the basic way to spell their name, John, Nick@pfgprivatewealth.com. And there’s a lot of good tools, tips, and resources there. Guys, thanks for hanging out. John, I’m glad you’re feeling better, my friend.


John: Appreciate it. Thanks. Have a good one.


Speaker 1: Absolutely. Nick, thanks as well, buddy. And I’ll catch you guys in a couple of weeks.


Nick: Talk soon.


Speaker 1: All right. We’ll see you next time right here on retirement planning redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth.