As traditional pensions decline and other retirement expenses, such as health care, increase, affording retirement has become an even greater challenge.  My work as a financial planner used to be running analysis to best optimize retirement income and improve longevity of assets, even going as far as developing strategies to manage the surplus.  It was rare that the ability to afford retirement at a specific age was called into question.

These days, it’s a completely different story.  More and more, the question is, “Will I ever be able to afford to retire?  At least in a time frame where I can still enjoy it? ”  There’s an overwhelming sense of disappointment that these clients have.  This isn’t how they envisioned their retirement prospects.  Though, their inability to afford retirement isn’t a complete surprise to them, there’s still a sense of being gypped.  And that’s where the hopelessness sometimes settles in.  That’s the part that really gets to me.  And let me tell you it’s really gotten to me.  Gotten to me so much that it’s inspired me to start researching the issue.

There are lots of studies on our current retirement crisis.  We can read all about the ever-increasing cost of retirement, dwindling pensions, and the potential demise of social security.  We can study numbers and statistics but the numbers aren’t going to provide the kind of help we need right now.

My hope is by hearing the stories of those that have retired and those planning to retire soon I can, not only better understand the challenges facing retirees, but also learn what’s working.  What are the elements that make a happy, successful retirement?  How have retirees adapted to the challenges?  I want to know what the numbers can’t tell me.  Real stories from real people are much more effective in providing insight, the kind of insight that can provide hope and real solutions.

So whether it’s a happy story, sad story or a little bit of both I want to hear it, all of it.  If your hope is to retire in the next 10 years or you’ve retired in the last 10 years; I would love to get your input.  Please contact me to set up a time to share your story with me!