What happens when retirement is unexpected? Often the best intentions go awry....life happens and one is required to pivot. Meet Sally and Harry, our resilient baby boomers as they confront life plans that went sideways and how they moved forward and thrived.
One of the benefits of working with women and their families is the opportunity to learn from each other. Most of us enjoy hearing stories and thinking about the relevance to our own lives. In fact, women are wired to learn from each other!
This particular client, let’s call her Sally, was not planning to retire. At 60 years old she had every intention of stepping back into the corporate arena after taking a two-year sabbatical to care for her elderly mom. She had a brilliant career in the financial world, was very well networked, and believed her life experience enhanced her credibility and value. As usual, things didn’t work out as planned. Isn’t there an expression “people plan, G-d laughs”? Not sure she was laughing, but it was very clear the universe wasn’t in a hurry to open the doors Sally thought were meant to be opened.
In the interim, Sally’s husband was wrapping up a consulting assignment which meant, after more than 30 years of employment, both Sally and her husband, Harry, needed to think differently about the road before them. What if they were unable to find work? What if things unfolded differently than they had planned?
Tweaking the Plan
Fortunately for Sally and Harry they were already working with Mosaic Fi to prepare for the retirement scenario. We tweaked the plan by incorporating more uncertainty at an earlier age, which illustrated different lifestyle scenarios to discover whether their funds were going to last for their lifetime and what, if any, changes needed to be made to their lifestyle. Sally and Harry quickly learned that in order to be comfortable and to have their funds last, changes needed to be made to the budget. They were already looking for the small “big” house. Downsizing was the surest way to make their retirement lifestyle a reality.
In addition, Sally and Harry needed to secure health insurance, as both had not yet reached Medicare age. At that time neither had corporate employment and, because of Sally’s pre-existing health condition, marketplace insurance was the only option available to them.
Two years later, Sally and Harry are well into their next chapter. Both found entrepreneurial opportunities and, while they earn a fraction of their former household income, their lifestyle is comfortably funded by the “paycheck” Mosaic Fi created from their qualified and non-qualified assets. They are debt-free and delighted with their new home and lifestyle. They are living life on their terms.
If Sally and Harry’s situation inspire some thoughts or questions, please let me know at Jenifer@mosaicfi.com.
Jenifer Aronson is the Founder of Mosaic Fi.