Happy Breeds More Happy

In the 20th century, the typical retirement lasted about 10 to 15 years. These days, if you retire in your 60s, your golden years could last upward of 30 years or more. The more people recognize this, the more it becomes evident that we can’t work our careers in quite the same manner anymore. Working for 40 years — particularly in our more materialistic culture — typically won’t provide enough income to both live and save for a retirement that could last nearly the same amount of time.

Longevity experts are now calling for a revolution in the workplace, one that enables people to work longer. For one thing, it doesn’t help our economy to have our most knowledgeable and experienced workers completely out of the workforce. On the other hand, few people want to work for 50 or 60 years without taking a break. So, why not take a break?

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Retiring retirement?” from Fidelity, Feb. 4, 2015.]

Today’s longer life expectancies behoove employers to consider more flexible and part-time options for people. Employers may need to consider options for employees to move in and out of the workforce periodically. In other words, being out of workforce for a few years shouldn’t hurt a person’s ability to find a new job.

With this new approach to work, young people could travel the world for six months to a year at an age in which they can truly soak in that experience. They could enter the workforce and work long enough to earn the money to take off for a year — but not so long that they’re already burdened with children and a mortgage.

Such a work culture might also help remove the stigma of young moms and dads taking time off work to raise children. Retirees and near-retirees could take off a few years to hit the links, then go back once they get bored. Mid-career workers could jump out of the rat race for a while to re-charge their batteries, then jump back on that wheel with re-energized motivation.

Experts say extending our work lives would benefit us both mentally and cognitively. Work enables us to wake up in the morning and know we are needed somewhere — that our presence and knowledge have value. Moreover, the intellectual stimulation of work is proven to improve our cognitive abilities and delay the onset of conditions associated with old age.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “5 Ways To Make Workplace Flexibility The New Way Of Working,” from Forbes.com, Oct. 30, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Mom Corps: A Further Move to Flexible Work Hours,” at American Management Association, Aug. 15, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “5 Secrets to a Happy Retirement,” from Time.com, Jan. 12, 2015.]

Adapting work schedules and providing a happier work environment doesn’t just benefit employees. Another recent study found that companies with the lowest employee satisfaction tended to significantly under-perform in the stock market. Conversely, highly profitable companies that invest in attracting top talent and have employee-friendly policies tend to outperform the overall market.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Do Satisfied Employees Matter for Company Bottom Lines?” from Glassdoor.com, March 11, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Like Your Job? The Stock Market Will Probably Like Your Company,” from The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2015.]

It’s hard enough to create a financial plan for the future, but how can you also create a long-term “happiness” plan? Some experts have suggested viewing a long life in 10-year segments. For example, if you’re 40, think about what you want to be doing when you’re 50. At 50, think about 60, and so on.

Long-range income planning is important, but it doesn’t have to sacrifice your happiness. After all — does spending money make you happy, or does spending time doing what you love with people you love make you happy?

We’re always happy to help you re-evaluate your priorities.

We are an independent financial service firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, investment advice. Be sure to speak with qualified professionals before making any decisions about your personal situation. Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency.

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