Are You Making Excuses To Not Retire?

Sometimes people say they don’t want to retire…and sometimes they really mean it. Other times it’s just a defense mechanism to compensate for the fact that they feel like they can’t retire. So let’s explore some of the possible meanings behind the statement, “I don’t want to retire.”


John Stillman: Hello and welcome to Wright Money Tips. Isaac Wright is a chartered financial consultant and the president of Financial Dynamics and Associates. You can find them online at You can call or text for help by dialing (804) 777-9999. Isaac is not ready to retire and the reason for that is because of the first point that we'll make today. But Isaac, when you hear somebody say they're not ready to retire, that could mean a lot of things. That's a loaded phrase. Some people truly aren't, they just don't want to retire. Other people maybe are saying that as a defense mechanism because they can't retire. Let's talk about different things that people mean when they say, "I don't want to retire," or, "I'm not ready to retire."

Isaac Wright: Sure. Yeah, sounds good.

John Stillman: Like I said, you're not ready to retire and I'm putting you in point number one. I love my career and also you're not old enough, but you know.

Isaac Wright: Yeah. Yeah. But I do. I do think a lot of people that when they even get closer to the point where they want to retire, really start looking back and I know we talk about a lot of horror stories where people have three headed dragons for a boss and they just want to get the hell out of Dodge, but a lot of people really do enjoy their career and some people that enjoy their career really don't have a desire to some degree maybe to stop working. Maybe they're in a situation where they don't have a bunch of other responsibilities outside of really putting their efforts towards their job. There's nothing wrong with that. Everybody lives a different life. I just think, when it comes down to it, they may be very well in a financial position where they could have retired years ago. They just simply love what they do and don't ever let anybody try to persuade you away from retiring before you're ready.

Isaac Wright: I think sometimes when it comes down to it, you just have to be ready in case of if something happens, like if your health changes, if for whatever reason the industry you're in is changing, the disappearance of companies, quite frankly, and we live in a very fluid world of change, so enjoy if you do love your career, you're not ready to retire. Absolutely a reason to not retire if you're in that boat.

John Stillman: Now, some people wouldn't say they love their career, but when they say they're not ready to retire, it basically just means, well, going to work is better than not having anything to do, I guess.

Isaac Wright: Yeah, this is different though. Sometimes the reason behind maybe how you feel about retirement is you're concerned about being bored. You're concerned about where are your time's going to go. And these people, let me just say this, if you're one of these people, you may not have a burning passion for your career, but you do find that you're a good performer in your job. The alternative of not having any responsibility sometimes can be scary. And maybe what I would consider is if you're in this boat is if you want to maybe start considering retiring from quote, that career, into another job role. Maybe something that will fulfill you without having the pressure of running your current career. Maybe income again is maybe not as important. Maybe you've done a good job saving. Maybe again, this is going to sound very simplistic, but going from a job like that to working at the golf course. Going from a job like that to becoming a volunteer for a charity or multiple organizations.

Isaac Wright: There's many ways to what I would call start building out that mindset of what you plan on doing if and when you decide to start reducing your hours down and maybe even potentially fully retiring, but being bored is something that you can overcome by start putting some thoughts on paper, start putting some thoughts down in terms of how that's going to look for you in the future.

John Stillman: All right, so we're going down this spectrum of what people mean when they say they're not ready to retire. I love my career, or it's just better than being bored at home. What about when they say, "I'm not ready to retire?" They actually mean I don't have enough money to retire. If you told me I could retire this next Tuesday, I would do it.

Isaac Wright: This does need to be on the list, it's a legitimate reason not to retire. If you don't have enough money. And I think that could have been number one, but I think many, many times, again, maybe you're in a position where you just haven't done the necessary planning and determined the amount of income, money and so forth that you have needed to either save or you're going to need to spend through your retirement years. Really what this comes down to is a lot of times people don't have a plan. We've actually met with quite a few people that thought they could not retire, but after we did a financial plan for them and created a track to run on, they actually created a game plan where they could retire. And that is really one of the most feel good moments that we have here at our firm.

Isaac Wright: And we have a great staff. We have a great support system to be able to provide you the insight necessary of if when and how you can retire. But for this group, I just think it's important for you to start having a plan, understanding your income and expenses and we have a process here at our firm called our complete planning review process, that really can help you hopefully knock on wood, bring a pleasant surprise to the fact that maybe you can retire and just haven't figured it out. But let me be clear, if you can't, we're going to be honest enough with you and also try to still provide you some meaningful and positive steps towards getting to where you need to go.

John Stillman: Now, the last topic here, when people say, "I'm not ready to retire," this is kind of the, almost a head in the sand sort of moment where they're saying, "Maybe I could, but I'm just not confident enough in my portfolio or confident enough in my plan or confident enough in my advisor to just walk away from a paycheck right now. Maybe I could, maybe that'd be fine, but I don't know because I don't really have that plan and I'm not going to bother to get the plan. It's easier to just keep working."

Isaac Wright: Let me say, when it comes to having the confidence of retirement, there's always going to be what ifs. I think you can really start nailing down, I know we have a great process in our firm to become what I would call the highest probability of success to get you to where you need to be. But with all that being said, sometimes what we find is this, with people walking in our door, their experiences when it comes to making this decision has been because they've worked with a 1-(800) telephone number. They're dealing with a 401k rep that shows up once a year to their office and gives them general advice. They don't have anybody in tune with who they are and what they're trying to accomplish. Therefore, their quote, advisor really is not an advisor. It's somebody that just rolls in and out that doesn't know who you are.

Isaac Wright: The big change here is when you have and find somebody that really understands you, that knows who you are and can have your back. Then this feeling really does subside to a great degree and a lot of times this goes away. If you're not feeling what I would call confident when it comes to your advisor or your plan or even if you do or don't have a financial plan or your portfolio is not where you want it to be, it's one of the reasons we have our firm. It's one of the reasons we do this podcast, and it's really one of the reasons we built out a new office here, right in Richmond, basically available to almost anywhere in the Richmond metro area and around. If you have any concerns about your retirement, whether you can or want to retire, (804) 777-9999. You can also visit our website, and I think either one of those would give you a good resource and a good starting point to have a chat with me and from there, see if we can bring any value to you.

John Stillman: Hey, if you love your job and you want to keep on working until you're 84, by all means, but at least I have a plan in place so that if your employer says, "Ah, Jim, you've been here for 56 years, we'd like to have somebody a little younger in your position." Then you're in a position to walk away if you need to or if health forces you out the door. You want to be sure you have a backup plan. If you're in the situation where you say, "I hate my job, I want to retire tomorrow, but I don't have enough money." Well maybe you do and you just haven't planned the right way to create those paychecks so that you can retire. Or maybe you have no idea where you stand. You don't know if you could retire tomorrow or if you need to work another 12 years.

John Stillman: Having the plan in place will help you have some clarity and at least know where you stand. If you need to work another five years, at least you know what the deal is. Reach out to Isaac and the team at Financial Dynamics. (804) 777-9999 is the number to call or text, (804) 777-9999. Great talking with you, we'll do it again soon right here on Wright Money Tips. Have a great day.

Announcer: Information is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute tax, investment or legal advice. Always consult with a qualified investment, legal or tax professional before taking any action.

Announcer: Advisory services offered through JW Cole Advisors Inc., JWCA. Financial Dynamics and Associates Inc. and JWCA are unaffiliated entities.