Steve Morgan, founder of Lakespring Associates, in cooperation with the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations (MDNP) is launching a project aimed at exploring/researching the need for more robust support precedent to retirement. As a starting point for this ‘research’, Morgan will convene a focus group of 6-8 individuals who have retired in the past 1-4 years for one or more sessions during which participants will share the circumstances that lead up and contributed to their retirement decision and the timing thereof. They will also be asked to 'rate' how successful and satisfying their retirement has been.
Although having a satisfying or successful retirement is a subjective determination, Don Tebbe, who has done considerable work on nonprofit executive transitions, has identified five factors that are key to a satisfying and successful retirement. They are:
• Health – healthy and actively maintaining wellness
• Engagement – in action on something meaningful (generative), exciting
• Support – engagement in a meaningful social network
• Alignment – with spouse/significant other about timing, location, spending, time together-apart
• Financial - some degree of financial security
The financial services/investment management industry would have us equate financial planning for retirement with comprehensive retirement planning. In reality, though financial security is critical, there is much more planning that needs to be done. Hopefully, the results from the focus group will help identify resources such as coaching, guidance, planning tools, etc. that future retirees can access to help them develop the comprehensive plan needed to ensure a successful and satisfying retirement.