Retirement Hogwash

I saw an article tonight that reminded me of the reasons why I started Platinum years. It was on MarketWatch.com and was entitled, "How to Spot Retirement Hogwash." The article wasn't new, but it's basically about core principles that do not change. And it includes this warning from author Robert Powell about being careful to discern what we really want out of life:

"The retirement industry wants to define your retirement for you," said Nelson. "Instead of choosing a way to live, they want you to buy a lifestyle. Instead of reflecting on your values, they want you to value consuming the right investments, the right insurance, the right real estate, the right travel, the right retail goods and the right anti-aging products. Instead of discovering your identity, they want you to simply identify yourself as a consumer. They want images of products and services dancing in your head so that you make acquiring them the goal and the purpose of your retirement. They want consuming to be your highest purpose."
I couldn't have said it better, and I have to tell you that some of the ads aimed at boomers are starting to make me angry. Encore.org, one of my platinum recommended web sites, even has an entertaining section called "Hit or Miss," where they let you rate ads as to whether they are hitting or missing the mark in helping boomers define their retirement.

So what should the "hits" look like? Just look back at the quote from that MarketWatch article and this time, focus on the "instead of" phrases:

"Instead of choosing a way to live..."

"Instead of reflecting on your values..."

"Instead of discovering your identity..."

And there you have it. That's what we need to be doing as we redefine retirement.

For that matter, that's what everyone should do at all different phases of their lives. My daughter has told me that 90% of what I write is applicable to any age. And although her percentage may be generous, I know she is reflecting on a basic truth. Who, after all, doesn't want to "get the best out of the rest of their life," which is the Platinum Years' mission.

The MarketWatch article concludes with a "retirement hogwash detector." I'd go a little long if I tried to cover that tonight, so let's leave that for tomorrow. - Bob

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