In late August, Georgetown University’s AgingWell Hub and the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Lifetime Income released their No Normal Retirement Journey Map and Guide.

Dubbed “a practical and interactive tool for re-imagining and charting paths to and through retirement,” it’s a clear, colorful guide for retirement professionals and their clients for managing a variety of factors that can impact retirement satisfaction.

Six Key Areas
Drawn from more than 200 pieces of retirement research and in-depth interviews with 29 financial advisors and other retirement experts, the guide contended that a “successful post-pandemic retirement journey” depends largely on six key areas: health, finances, learning/education, community, purpose, and resilience.

“Take care of your health so you can do the things you want to do in retirement,” the guide advised. That includes planning for declining physical and cognitive health, understanding the cost of long-term care and other health-related events that are likely to result in extra expenses, and getting advance health-care directives in place.

Establish a comfortable, doable financial plan. Get your financial documents in order. Don’t forget to discuss your financial plans with your heirs.

To be happy in retirement, be a “lifelong learner.” Explore new interests, keep up with technology, and expand your horizons.

Think about where you live. Do you want to be near children and grandchildren? Are you near necessary services and activities that you enjoy? Are you able to access your community? Is your home set up to age in place, without having to move?

Explore what you want to do in retirement. Volunteer activities? Travel? Staying involved can make a big difference in how satisfied you feel. Remember to periodically reevaluate your goals and progress, as well as feelings and concerns—and make course corrections as needed.

These are not hard and fast rules. Each of these areas should be thought of as a lever that can be adjusted throughout retirement to maintain balance. Each one comes with risks and upside potential, and no one should be locked in. “Weather the twists and turns,” the guide recommended, adding that retirement is a journey that can be full of surprises.

Evolving Retirement
“The nature of retirement is evolving and highly personal,” said Jeanne de Cervens, director of the AgingWell Hub, in a prepared statement. The AgingWell Hub is a cross-sector collaboration of diverse professionals, co-founded by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Philips, NA, committed to making a difference for older Americans.

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