Attendees of the virtual Retirement Coaches Association conference were presented with the results of two new surveys that highlight the discrepancies between what preretirees expect retirement to be like and the reality retirees face. One survey found that over half of preretirees believed the transition to retirement would be smooth, while only 32% of retirees agreed. The surveys also identified concerns around the length of the transition period, worries about retirement, and social connections. Retirees struggled with the loss of identity and lack of a daily routine, while preretirees were more concerned about finances. Additionally, retirees experienced a decline in their social networks, but preretirees were not worried about their social connections in retirement. The surveys suggest that financial advisers and human-resources departments should provide more support for the nonfinancial aspects of retirement.
The transition to retirement is often more challenging than preretirees realize, according to the surveys. Retirees found it difficult to adjust to the lack of structure and routine that comes with retirement, while preretirees underestimated the time it takes to feel comfortable in retirement. Preretirees also had different concerns than retirees; preretirees worried more about financial aspects, while retirees were more concerned about health and the overall political and economic climate. Additionally, retirees experienced a decline in their social networks and struggled with the loss of work connections, while preretirees did not anticipate these challenges.
The surveys emphasized the need for financial advisers and HR departments to provide more holistic support for preretirees and retirees. Retirees expressed the desire for assistance with the nonfinancial aspects of retirement, but preretirees did not recognize the importance of such support. Efforts are being made to address this disconnect, such as a new beta program called WorkPrint, which aims to prepare employees for retirement by educating and training them for the transition. The Retirement Coaches Association also plans to host virtual labs focused on identity and purpose to foster community and connection among retirees. These initiatives aim to address the challenges highlighted by the surveys and provide individuals with more comprehensive retirement planning.