Arch talk.

The Four Phases of Retirement

I was searching away in “Ted Talks” the other night and a speech about the 4 phases of retirement caught my eye.  

As an adviser, I’ve seen many clients retire and it’s a really great time to see a client make that transition, end their career, and start this exciting new chapter of their life.

However, as advisers, I feel we don’t do a good enough job at explaining how hard it’s going to be – not necessarily from a monetary sense, but from a psychological sense.

Retirement is more than being about money and estate planning. While these areas are important there is so much more going on in someone’s head when they retire, and advisers need to become better skilled at conversions with clients to help through the transition and beyond

Sure, advisers talk with clients about goals and what a client’s ideal life looks like, which then comes down to how much money will be required, how long capital may last and of course, they look at the strategies and investments that will deliver the greatest amount of certainty.

I feel our advisers at Arch Capital do a pretty good job at this given client feedback over the past 20 or so years. While we always look to improve this part of the business, the psychological aspect is an area we need to work on to really help clients through this period of life.

Retirement is a huge change. For many, they will spend one-third of their life retired. However, most of us are used to working and being productive and this gives us a sense of belonging, community, pride, and success, and all these benefits are suddenly gone from our lives when we retire from work.

At last count by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 3.9 million Australians retired and this number is accelerating as the baby boomers retire.

So, what does “success” look like in retirement? It can be a frightening proposition!

Dr. Riley Moynes in this Ted talk talks about 4 phases.

  • Phase 1 The Holiday Period.  You made it! Time to do those things you have been dreaming about the last few years. This is the hazy first year or so, the trips planned, renovations, seeing family, and sometimes just doing not much at all.
  • Phase 2 Loss and lost – The holiday is over. You may lose routine, identity relationship, purpose, and some loss of power.  Divorce, depression, and decline may kick in (physical and mental). Feel fear anxiety and possibly depression. Hopefully, you wake up and push through this to phase 3 
  • Phase 3 – Trial and error – we ask how I can make my life meaningful again. What can I do that means something to me? Often this may involve helping others.
  • Phase 4 – Reinvest and re-wire – 

If you make it to this phase, you are most likely very content with retirement. You know what your mission is and how you will squeeze all the juice out of retirement 

If you want to speak with a retirement financial advisor about retirement financial planning our process is to have an initial discovery meeting at no charge. At this meeting, we simply listen and see if we can help.


Now is better than tommorrow. Take some action today and book some time to discuss your financial future.

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