Retirement When You Love What You Do, But Want to Slow Down

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August 28, 2020

The Story
Paul is an attorney. That is who he has always been – it is how he, and those around him, have defined his identity. Throughout his career, he’s put in the long nights and extra miles. Eagerly. He loves what he does; he loves the craft of it. Now approaching the next decade of his life, things are changing. He and his wife, Lucille, began asking: What does retirement for us look like?

The Right Questions
When Paul and his wife first met us, their questions about retirement, not unusually, were technical: When can we retire? Do we have enough in our savings? What is the best retirement product for us? These aren’t bad questions. But their answers provide a limited view of what retirement could be. Retirement, in their minds, was a cliff. As we got to know this family, we learned about Paul’s passion for his career, especially mentoring young professionals. We also learned that they were new grandparents, with grandchildren a day’s car ride away.

Through our conversations, we uncovered their real questions: What would it look like to reduce Paul’s workload? How can we spend more time with our grandchildren?

The Plan
Your earnings are the total of what you earn plus the earnings of your investments. We helped Paul and Lucille define their standard of living and gathered that cost. Then, we determined the total earnings of their investments. The difference told us the amount Paul would need to work
to supplement the earnings of their investments and support their standard of living.

The answer surprised them. They had greater flexibility and freedom than initially thought. Taking this approach, retirement is not a cliff – it’s a slope that Paul and Lucille have the power to define. Now, Paul has reduced his caseload by 30%. He has greater control over the work he chooses to do. He and Lucille have more time and long weekends to travel to see family. But
most importantly, this isn’t final. It’s a process. Now, their dreams are on the table. They are making active decisions to design their lives. Work has a different role in their lives. It’s not about the money; it’s about living the life you want to live and using money as a tool to get there.

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