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The No. 1 Retirement Challenge No One Knows

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Money is always the number one concern for retirees, but there is an even bigger concern that virtually no one mentions: loss of social connection and sense of purpose.

AARP recently found that 49% of Americans are worried about their retirement. No wonder. According to the Federal Reserve, the average American has only $65,000 for retirement.

But money isn’t where many retirees go wrong. Harvard University research conducted over the past 85 years found that the biggest challenge people face in their golden years is to replace the social connections at work that gave them satisfaction, purpose and, in many cases, joy. is not possible. throughout their lives, CNBC coverage.

relationship is key

One of the psychiatrist authors of the Harvard University study said: Yet few people talk about the importance of developing new sources of meaning and purpose. “

One survey respondent, who has been a doctor for nearly 50 years, said he misses “people and friendships” rather than the job itself.

One high school teacher described how she lost her sense of purpose and leadership role when she retired: Helping someone master a skill is great. Teaching young people was the beginning of my whole process of inquiry. “

The authors advise pre-retirement and retirees to build relationships and re-evaluate what makes them happy and what drives them.

To set personal retirement goals, start with these questions:

  • Who are the people I enjoy working with the most and what do they value to me?
  • What kind of connectivity are you missing that you want more of? Anyone want to know more? How can I contact them?
  • Who is different from me in some way (different way of thinking, different background, different expertise)? What can I learn from them and how does it enrich my view of the world and my life? would you

The 4 Pillars of Retirement

The Harvard study echoes the forward-looking work of wealth management firm Edward Jones and retirement services consultancy Age Wage. They have created new guidance for retirees and their financial planners who serve them on their behalf on how to retire at 21.st Century is completely shape-shifting.

Their “four new pillars of retirement”, in order, are health, family, purpose, and finances.

Edward Jones and Age Wage, in a survey of Americans, found that their retirement goals were more about purpose than financial or financial planning.

Here are some pretty surprising results.

What people want most when they retire

  • 93% want to be useful after retirement.
  • 67% want to spend time with their loved ones.
  • 55% say they want to do something interesting/fun.
  • 53% want to be honest with themselves.
  • 40% want to be generous or give back.
  • 38% want to live a life full of faith.
  • 32% want to live a happy life.
  • 27% said they want to achieve their goals in life.and
  • 16% said they want to be financially rich.

Source: Edward Jones and Age Wave survey of 9,000 North Americans across five generations

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