Have you ever questioned the status quo? Went against the grain despite personal fears or warnings from others? Have you ever broken established rules, or stepped outside the box?  How did it feel? Were your efforts successful? Was it worthwhile?Did you learn something valuable or acquire something useful in the process?

No matter what you have or haven’t done in the past that went against the grain, the opportunity has arrived to turn retirement planning upside down and engage clients and prospects on a new level. I’m referring to a contrarian style that can bring new life to old, traditional (and boring) retirement planning concepts, and an educational approach that meets clients and prospects where they are at. 

One of my favorite contrarian ways of marketing to new and existing retirees is to take the glass is half empty approach. In other words, take the flip-side of what most people think and say. For example, most advisors spend time helping clients dream big, beautiful things about retirement -- taking long walks on the beach, embarking on worldwide travel, watching grandkids graduate from Ivy League colleges and so on. 

Fundamentally, that’s all great stuff. However, talking the same as everyone else makes it’s hard for you to stand out in the crowd. Unless, that is, you take the same concepts and turn them upside down. By revealing the reverse side of things, you can breathe new life into old topics.  As an example, I recently wrote an article to include in my Retirement Wellness Report about "things that only aeem like a good idea before you retire." They may sound great at first, but ...

Play Golf Every Day 

Hitting the links every morning and becoming a scratch golfer resonates with many pre-retirees.  At least until they feel the shoulder and back pain from swinging a golf club over 70 times each day.  Throw in the snail’s pace foursome ahead of you, or your group’s talkative fill-in who takes five practice swings only to duff the shot, and you begin to realize golf isn’t all that relaxing, or something you want to do every day.

Watch Grandkids

There can be immense joy in spending time and spoiling future generations, but doing it on a full-time basis can quickly turn pleasure to anguish. Whether it’s those constant requests for junk food, miniscule attention spans, incessant video gaming, constant texting or good old-fashioned drama queen acting out, retiring to the role of nanny, cook, chauffeur and more can make those old days of boring work meetings, frustrating bosses and annoying co-workers seem like a weekend BBQ with friends.

Travel The World

Thoughts of visiting quaint villages, marveling at architectural masterpieces and experiencing natural wonders can evoke strong emotions. That is until you have to pass a kidney stone on a European river cruise, need a prescription filled in a foreign country, get a credit card bill showing international charges, or gasp at roaming fees for cell phone use abroad. Add in the complications of a flooded basement while you’re on the road, a missed connecting flight or a mom/dad injury at home, and you may be happy being relaxed -- but accessible -- at the local bed and breakfast.