The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created to give money to small businesses in order to help them retain staff through the pandemic. But what you may not know is that PPP is also the key to your successful retirement. Not paycheck protection, but rather people, place and purpose.
In almost 40 years of financial planning, we have had a number of people retire happily. We have also had some struggle with this transition. But what may surprise you is that money has not generally been the reason for their success or discomfort. Those who have the right people in their lives and have a solid sense of place and purpose have fared the best.
When you have spent a lifetime working, be it inside or outside the home, you have also spent a lifetime interacting. The beauty of retirement is that you have more control over with whom you spend your time. The challenge, though, is that you may need to build relationships.
Obviously, your family is your first source of connection, but clients who dedicated most of their time to their careers can be somewhat surprised when the family is not greeting them with open arms in retirement. While you were mentally or physically away working, the family had created their own lives. Our most successful retirees create independence and interdependence. Additionally, other relationships take the pressure off the family from being everything you need. It is not the number of outside relationships that seem to matter, it is the quality of them.
People also underestimate place in retirement. The two biggest mistakes I have seen are those who sell their homes before they are ready and those who move someplace without doing adequate research. While you probably don't need as much room in retirement or don't care about a commute, don't make too many changes too soon. Some of our clients have loved their move to condos, others have missed what they gave up. Try renting for a while before you plunk down money to be in an unfamiliar area. One of our clients rented for a few years before buying in a place that was never on their original shortlist.
Richard Leider, founder of the Purpose Company, encourages people to seek meaning beyond themselves. This should be started preretirement. Plan on activities in which you can become absorbed, as well as some that serve others to maintain your sense of purpose. Your personal PPP needs to last far longer than a pandemic.
Spend your life wisely.
Ross Levin is the chief executive & founder of Accredited Investors Wealth Management in Edina.