Planning for Retirement

By Jim Rittenhouse, CPA, CVA, MAFF, Shareholder

Thirty-five years ago, Detweiler Hershey & Associates, P.C. wrote a promotional article on retirement. 

As a 25-year-old, I did not give it much thought, even though I kept a copy of the article.  “Plan for the Golden Years” was the title.  While most of the advice provided in the article is still relevant, I find myself thinking much more about this topic now than I did in 1987.

The definition of the word “retirement,” remains personal.  Each person must discover how to define that word for themselves. 

Some people count down the days until they can retire – usually at the date full Social Security benefits are available.  Others work until they die.  My father continues to work at his vocation (farming) which was required of him to start in 1940, when he was age 7.  Yes, that is 83 years ago.  He has no plans of stopping. 

Then there is the enjoyment, or lack of enjoyment, that work provides.  Having enough saved to earn investment income and something to do with your time are often major factors in determining when retirement could commence.

While much has been written about when to start receiving Social Security benefits and the amount of money needed in your 401(k) plan, the emotional side of retirement is rarely discussed.  Thirty-five years ago, the DHA article made no mention of emotions or change in routines and relationships. 

I would suggest these issues are as important as deciding when to begin Social Security and required minimum distributions from a retirement account.  Balancing one’s feelings and social engagement with money and expected life span may be the secret in allowing the “Golden Years” to be truly golden.

Filed in: Client News