87 is the new 65… However, while human longevity is improving, people’s conception of retirement is not. Many people continue to operate as if 65 is the ideal age to retire. Yet this utopian ideal of retirement simply doesn’t align with reality: people are not saving enough to retire for 30+ years. That’s why we think it’s time for people to consider working with this goal: to never retire.
Does it sound extreme? Without context, sure, it may seem like a farfetched idea to simply never retire. However, when you address some of the principal objections to this concept, it's clear that working longer has positive results.
Why You Should Never Retire
There are many reasons why you should never retire. To list a few:
- Retirement pulls people from their purpose, which can lead to cognitive and physical decline
- Most Americans do not have the funds to support a long retirement
- It perpetuates a vicious cycle: children must care for their parents, which limits the children’s ability to save for retirement, which increases the likelihood that their children must care for them too…
- Retirement sets a precedent that leisure is only to be enjoyed later in life
- When retirement is the goal, people settle for unenjoyable or unfulfilling careers
- In order to afford retirement, some people must disinherit their heirs, despite wishing to leave a legacy
When you look at the evidence above, it’s clear that the precedent for retirement needs an overhaul. Retirement overwhelmingly encourages people to survive instead of thrive, because they have the promise of something better at the end of the race.
Yet what if we encouraged people to thrive now? What if people chose to never retire, and instead seek fulfilling work, create more cash flow and savings, and ultimately create time and money freedom NOW? That way, retirement wouldn't be a reward for getting through your working years. Instead, it would be more like its original conception: a way to support those who have lived and served beyond life expectancy.
5 Ways to Promote a “Never Retire Mindset”
Overhauling our retirement culture and creating something new starts with you. As a financial expert, people look to you for help with their retirement and savings strategies, and much more. Not only do you have the opportunity to lead by example, but you’re also in the unique position of inspiring people to have a more prosperous financial outlook.
Below are values you can live by and share that can help more people adopt a “never retire” mindset.
1. Love What You Do
While this may be simple advice, it’s a critical piece of the foundation. After all, income is one of the most pressing issues retirees face. Yet those who love what they do tend to keep doing it, the side effect of which is income. Many financial advisors are champions of this industry because they love it–we at Truth Concepts are proud to witness a community that has many advisors working well beyond typical retirement, with no sign of slowing down.
Work with passion is sustainable. This sustainability creates a workforce of people who work to serve and thrive. Work without passion leads to desperation. This desperation causes people to cling to timelines: “I can work this job for ten more years, and that’s it.”
We'd add that in addition to doing what you love, accept that you can change your mind. A career that’s fulfilling to you in your 20s might not be fulfilling to you in your 40s. What you can do in your 40s may not be what you can do in your 60s. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your career.
2. Create Cash Flow
Your clients don’t have to have millions of dollars to create passive income that lasts. In most cases, they must simply be willing to play the long game. For example, a client who saves into a whole life insurance policy diligently for a decade (give or take), can likely invest in a cash-flowing property. Depending on their objectives and desires, they could start a business or do some private lending.
There are thousands of options—many of which have low overhead costs—that can create a passive or residual income today. And cash flow creates opportunities. For example, having some passive income can allow a family to spend more time together over the course of a person’s working years. This freedom of time and money may make someone less inclined to retire at a certain benchmark because there’s no job fatigue or burnout.
3. Emphasize Financial Responsibility in the Family
In a family setting, financial responsibility looks like financial education and literacy training. One of the issues facing families today is that there’s a cycle of “financial irresponsibility” happening. This isn’t to say any one party is at fault. Rather, there’s a cultural cycle occurring.
Within this cycle, parents are encouraged to save for their children’s college education, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The parents may also be supporting their own parents financially in some way. This is money that they cannot save for their own retirement. Eventually, when retirement arrives, the parents become more dependent on their children because they lack the funds or ability to support themselves.
This example from the Education calculator shows how college costs alone can impact retirement savings.
So what does personal financial responsibility look like? It begins when parents break the cycle by choosing to adopt a “never retire” mindset. It continues by teaching children financial literacy, like how to save money and pay loans. Having a family banking system can facilitate this financial education.
Empowering clients to do this can also promote multi-generational wealth, by strengthening financial literacy and improving the long-term strategy.
4. Learn to Rest Now, Rather Than Later
Retirement is something people look forward to because they imagine they’ll finally get to rest. They’ll do the things they’ve always wanted to do, and live life to the fullest. While some people do manage to accomplish this, for many, it’s not realistic. When you’re retired, every day is like a Saturday. In theory, it sounds fun, and in reality, it’s expensive. After all, Saturday is the day people tend to spend the most money.
You may think if you never retire, you never get to enjoy your life. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you commit to doing purposeful, fulfilling work for as long as you possibly can, a few things happen.
First, you prioritize making money in ways you enjoy. When it stops being enjoyable, you adjust. You either change the unenjoyable conditions, or you change your career completely. Second, you create more opportunities by creating income and savings. When you’re in a position of cash, like you are when you save into whole life insurance, you’re more likely to see opportunities. These may be business opportunities, or they may just be life opportunities, like getting to travel or taking your dream vacation. And because you’ve got the money and time, you can participate.
Rather than depending on an uncertain future to enjoy life, you have all the potential to create certainty in the present. Enjoy life now, not later.
5. Savings Creates Opportunity
Having cash is critical. When people aim for retirement, they generally focus on amassing an unknown future sum. Typical financial advice would suggest that $1 million is the ideal benchmark (though we know that it’s not, thanks to inflation).
However, saving into an asset to create opportunities now is a game-changer. Cash value life insurance, for example, is:
- Liquid; you can access your money at any time for any reason
- Certain; it’s not correlated to the stock market, and cannot lose money
- Leveragable; you can collateralize your cash value so you can use it without losing the full compounding effect or diminishing your account
- Long-term; this is where you can save in a tax-advantaged way for your whole life
- Multi-purpose; because your account doesn’t lose value, you can use it without robbing your future self of opportunities
Helping your client to grasp this and use whole life insurance more effectively can help them enjoy their life and have peace of mind. The addition of riders like long-term care insurance and disability insurance can be an even better blessing.
Learn How to Teach Financial Concepts to Clients
While the phrase “never retire” may seem a bit strong, what we ultimately want to do is empower more people to live a life they don’t want to retire from. That’s the heart of this message.
One of the first steps on the journey to empowering people to never retire is to learn how to convey financial concepts. Our 3-day Truth Training is designed to help you learn the Truth Concepts calculators so that you can help clients with confidence.