The Second Phase of Life during Retirement: Slow, Slow, Slow

Last Updated: September 30, 2014

There are three different and distinct phases in retirement.  Initially, you will find yourself in the go, go, go phase.  You might call the second phase slow, slow, slow, later followed by the no, no, no phase. This post will focus on the second phase of retirement life, the slow, slow, slow phase (for more information on the active phase of retirement read our post on the go, go, go phase).
Life in your 70’s or 80’s may start to look and feel different.  The slow, slow, slow phase begins when your body starts telling you to slow down a little bit. You may recognize retirees who are in this phase because they start to develop predictable patterns like groceries on Monday, the bank on Tuesday, laundry on Wednesday, bridge on Thursday, and so on.  The reason for these patterns is that as energy levels start to decrease, you can minimize the thought and effort required to maintain enjoyment of life.  Travel may become less about planes and passports and be more limited to occasional trips to see the kids and grandkids.  The turmoil of early retirement surrounding finding a new purpose and adjusting to new family dynamics has settled down.  It is now replaced by a stable phase of retirement. During the slow, slow, slow phase continue to stay as active as possible.  This could reduce health problems, but eventually you will likely start to experience some health challenges.  Medicare will remain your primary health insurance.  You may also be using policies supplemental to Medicare to cover prescription drugs, Medicare co-pays or deductibles.  Stay vigilant with your annual exams, tests, and preventative care to maximize your mobility and enjoyment while minimizing your healthcare cost. During the slow, slow, slow phase you may feel that your financial life is running on autopilot.  Your monthly income is being direct deposited into your checking account from Social Security, your pension, and your IRA like clockwork.  However, it is important to continue monitoring your retirement portfolio, the investments, and asset sustainability.  Inflation is something else to account for.  Prices are likely to be 20-30% higher for groceries, gas, and utilities compared to when you first retired just 10-15 years earlier.  And prices will likely be even higher in one more decade.  You will want to meet with your Certified Financial Planner™ professional once or twice per year to review your situation. Once again, you will want to review life insurance coverage to make sure it matches your current insurance need.  Also review insurance coverage amounts for any significant assets like your home, artwork, antiques, or other collectibles.  It could be worth getting an appraisal on any unique items.  Prices could have changed dramatically since you first acquired the item, and you want your insurance policy to be sufficient to cover any loss.  During this phase you should review your estate planning documents to ensure they still accomplish your intentions and that all your assets and beneficiaries are up to date.  You should also make sure they are incorporating the last decade of litigation and legislative changes. Remember, retirement is about more than just the money. Retirement is about enjoying what you have worked for your entire career. This is just as true during the slow, slow, slow retirement phase as it was when you just wanted to go, go, go. Whether you want to do an income needs analysis to make sure you’ll be ready financially to retire or discuss best practices on handling some of the non-financial changes in your life, the Certified Financial Planner™ professionals at Pension Consultants can assist you. Give us a call at 800-234-9584. Your choice is your future! PCI’s archived blog entries are dated, the rules and statutes referenced may have changed. The analysis or guidance within these blog entries may have become stale, dated, or no longer accurate. PCI will not update or change these entries to reflect the latest analysis or development.


Pension Consultants, Inc.



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