Have you ever come across someone whose professional and personal life are contradictory? Think of a carpenter whose house remains under constant construction, the family therapist who struggles to make family time, the chef who prefers to order out, or the retirement planner who can’t get their arms around actually retiring.

On the surface, the disconnect between work life and home life is easy to understand. The last thing many people want to do when they get home is more of their work. However, the situation is compounded for financial professionals because of the multitude of emotional factors they face in transitioning both their business and themselves.

Retirement by itself is a very emotionally charged topic because of the minefield of change it ushers in, but add in the idea of selling your client and staff relationships that you’ve built and nurtured for years and you have the perfect recipe for procrastination. It’s no wonder that the average age of advisors continues to climb as the barriers to exit remain high.

My big epiphany came when I was presenting at a national advisor conference on the psychology of retirement and started taking questions from the audience. Initially, I expected to get the routine questions about client situations but instead they were primarily personal retirement questions from the planners. Things like how to talk about retirement with their spouse, losing their work identity and replacing the “high” one gets from helping people achieve their financial goals.

I had taken for granted, that many financial professionals are in fact, just that: financial professionals whose primary role was to help make sure their clients didn’t run out of money. They hadn’t made the switch to helping people look and plan beyond the dollars and cents primarily because very few firms encourage this type of training and even fewer people can provide it.

However, now that they are facing their own retirement, this new set of factors has emerged and they are quickly realizing that running out of money pales in comparison to running out of family, friends, good health and time. Over the last couple years, I have not only continued to have similar conversations with planners but also began to document key reasons why advisors struggle and what they can do about it. Here are my top three reasons:

1. Emotional voids. To start, we are trusted, go-to people. Clients rely heavily on us for our expertise, knowledge and experience. That’s a triple threat, sort of like the high-profile celebrity who can sing, dance and act. Our roles and client interactions keep us relevant, connected and highly sought-after. All prized things that we have worked hard to achieve and won’t easily be replaced with more rounds of golf or boat rides with the grandkids.

Thus, the transition creates an emotional void whose depth and complexity are not only hard to fill but can be exacerbated by the concept of “enmeshment.” Long story short, when someone is enmeshed in their work, they overidentify with it and use it to meet most of their psychological needs. As a result, they haven’t developed much of an independent sense of self outside of their profession and are at risk of feeling lost, purposeless and out of sorts when they exit the field. This can lead to regret and isolation until they find ways to get those same psychological needs met.

The tricky part with enmeshment or this high level of attachment is that it can be highly valued in the workplace because feeling deeply connected to your work produces job satisfaction and meaning as well as motivation to be more and do more. Those are all great things for business goals and bottom lines, but not so good when it’s no longer there. The key thing for advisors to know is that falling in love with your work comes with a big price tag. It can’t love you back and can make for a long and difficult break up if you don’t have other sources of identity.

2. Sacred cows. Many people, including financial professionals see retirement as this sacred-cow-like phase of life that is filled with more time, freedom and less stress. It’s a time of life where things get better simply because you’re not working. But nothing could be further from the truth. In other words, most people including advisors approach retirement with these Pollyanna views along with some generic or vague ideas about what they think or hope it will look and feel like, but haven’t really taken the time to critically question any of these factors.

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