Retirement Lifestyle Planning Vs Retirement Financial Planning

October 05, 2018 by Josh Hrala

The world of retirement is changing now more than ever. A few years ago, everyone thought that the Baby Boomer generation was going to reach the age of 65 and suddenly exit the workforce.

This “Silver Tsunami” was supposedly going to disrupt countless industries and leave companies leaderless.

The problem was that it never happened.

Instead of stepping down, Baby Boomers kept working. Sure, some did retire. People retire every day. But the idea of a cut-and-dry retirement age isn’t accurate anymore because many retirees either find a new job, or start their business, or pursue a passion that can bring in a passive income.

At the same time, many later-career workers are simply staying in their roles well pasted the age of 65 because they are healthier than ever and want to continue their careers.

Retirement Lifestyle Planning Vs Retirement Financial Planning

But this isn’t true for everyone. Some people stay in the workforce longer than they want to because they haven’t properly planned to make the switch out of full-time work and into retired life.

Most of the time when stories like this emerge, the first thought people have is that it is a financial decision. After all, it takes a small fortune to fully retire successfully, right? But a large population of potential retirees are also worried about how their daily lives will change, too.

So, if someone is planning for retirement, what’s the answer? Should they focus on retirement lifestyle planning or financial planning?

The answer is both.

Retirement Lifestyle Planning Vs Retirement Financial Planning: USE BOTH!

In order to retire successfully, you must look at both sides of the coin: the lifestyle change and also the financial change.

For far too long, retirement conversations have been all about how much money people need to save in order to retire successfully. Any Google search will show countless articles about how much people need to have squirreled away if they want to make it in retired life.

And that number is constantly changing. So much so, that it can be overwhelming to look at it.

It also doesn’t take into account the fact that most retirees will pull in some sort of income after stepping down from their full-time job.

Plus, many of these figures that are recommended online are trying to be one-size-fits-all figure, which will never work because everyone is different with different spending habits, lifestyle, income levels, etc.

This is where retirement lifestyle planning and financial planning meet.

Retirement Lifestyle Planning Leads to Proper Financial Planning

In order to understand just how much money a person will need to retire, they must consider how their lifestyle will change once they step down from their full-time job.

Does the person plan on working at a non-profit because it’s always been a goal of theirs to do so? Do they plan on opening a small shop where they sell crafts online? Maybe they plan on volunteering?

There are so many options for someone to choose from when retiring that it can be very stressful to navigate alone.

Retirement Lifestyle Planning Vs Retirement Financial Planning

This is why we created Evergreen retirement, a program that helps later-career workers assess their lifestyle and properly plan for the future on a social/emotional level.

By doing so, the person will get a clearer picture of what retirement will look like for them, allowing them to not only be prepared mentally but also financially.

Retirement Lifestyle Planning Can No Longer Be Ignored

Like we said, the general conversation around retirement has always been financially-driven. Companies have adopted 401ks and other retirement savings plans to the point where it’s just a given that organizations have them.

But it’s strange that no one has ever considered how a person feels about retirement. Will they be lonely? Will they miss their day-to-day tasks? Did they feel pressured to retire?

These feelings are important for many reasons.

First off, you always want to help your employees – especially those that have been with your company for a long time – with their work-life balance. Your workers are not robots that come in everyday, do their jobs, and then return to some unknown location to power down just to do it all again the next day.

They are people with things going on when they leave the workplace, and if you ever want them to retire in a way that can benefit not only them, but your company, too, you need to work closely with them on both the financial side and the lifestyle side of retirement.

This probably has you scratching your head. What is the ROI of retirement lifestyle planning for the organization?

Retirement Lifestyle Planning: The ROI

Since retirement is at the end of the ‘employee lifecycle’ just like any other offboarding practice, it’s often ignored because, after all, the person is stepping down so why should you spend more time and energy on them if they are heading out the door, right?


In order to make sure your business keeps running smoothly, you need to work closely with those that you offboard to ensure that valuable knowledge is transferred to the person that will be taking over the role.

Knowledge retention is a huge issue for organizations right now. In fact, a loss of knowledge is what created the ‘Silver Tsunami’ scare in the first place. Even though many organizations are worried about this, few actually do anything about it.

Retirement Lifestyle Planning Vs Retirement Financial Planning

Again, this is where retirement lifestyle planning and Evergreen come into play. By working with the employee over the course of their retirement planning process, you can better protect your company, properly train replacements, and keep a working relationship with the retiree.

At the same time, working with the retiree will help them understand the move that they are about to make and allow them to not only prepare socially and emotionally but also financially. In the end, it’s a win-win for both parties involved.

Retirement Lifestyle Planning Vs Retirement Financial Planning: The Takeaways

When it comes down to it, there is no competition between these two sides of the same coin. Later-career workers need to plan for their retirement both financially and socially/emotionally.

By combining the two, you can see that they inform one another. You cannot divorce lifestyle from savings or vice-versa when it comes to retirement.

While having both of these tools available for your staff has a clear ROI for them, it also makes your business stronger by retaining older workers longer and also retaining all of the valuable knowledge they have amassed when they do decide to make their exit.

Josh Hrala

Josh Hrala

Josh is an HR journalist and ghostwriter who's been covering outplacement and offboarding for over six years. Before pivoting to the HR world, he was a science journalist whose work can be found in Popular Science, ScienceAlert, The Huffington Post, Cracked, Modern Notion, and more.

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