The ART of Retirement Planning

The art of retirement planning

Traditionally retirement planning is portrayed as an exact science, whereby the focus is on the financial aspects of retirement. Very little planning goes into the non-financial aspects of retirement planning.

“In my experience, people spend more time planning their next holiday than planning their retirement.

Equal importance should be placed on the non-financial aspects (‘ART’) of retirement planning. Without proper consideration of the ART of retirement planning, your dreams may become unstuck or not become what you originally intended leaving you with an unfilled retirement. This can place stress on your relationships in what are potentially the best years of your life when you now have the time and freedom to do all the things you have been putting off.

Let’s look at the ‘science’ of retirement planning:

Science of retirement planning

science of retirement planning


What is your number

Financial planning discussion often commence with a question about how much income will you need to retire, or, in simple terms – ‘What is your number?”

This provides the financial planner with your ‘goal” number and a basis for the maths calculations necessary to plan for retirement. In my experience, this ‘magic number’ is probably the hardest thing to pluck out of mid-air. Frequently, clients do not have any idea of how much they are currently spending and even less of an idea of how much money they will spend in retirement.

Return on Investment

Secondly, financial literature is all about returns, or, how much money you will derive from your investment. You can either have a passive investment strategy or an active investment strategy or a combination of both. The returns you get on your investments will be part of the retirement strategy solution. However, investment returns frequently drive people to the wrong investment vehicles and ignore all the other more qualitative factors that are involved in effective retirement planning.

If you are poorly prepared for retirement, a difference of one or two percentage points in returns, will often not make any difference at all to the success of your retirement plan. The focus should be what return on retirement you desire and how can you use your money to achieve that return.

Product Solutions

If retirement planning is completed without proper consideration of the non-financial aspects, it is often a product lead solution. The focus is then on which products such as a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund, Industry or Retail Superannuation Fund will provide you with the best solution. Whilst the choice of these may make a small difference to your retirement planning solutions, if there is no associated change in your behaviour and you have no emotional connection with your retirement plan where required, they will not lead to a better retirement outcome in the long run.

Now let’s look at:

The ART of retirement planning



To have a successful retirement, it is important to have a variety of activities that provide you with meaning and purpose in addition to leisure based or recreational based activities. The extent of these activities may not be as onerous as your work or business activities were, however, they will serve the same purpose. For example, you may mentor young aspiring professionals or teach a class at a university.


As a couple, frequently the female is adept at building a social network of friends and relationships who will remain, friends, once their children have left school or they have left the workforce. On the other hand, men are not traditionally as adept in building social networks outside of work. Once they retire either voluntarily or forced retirement, these social connections associated with their work cease and they are left with gaps.


Working full time or running a business provides structure to your day, week, month and year. It is very easy to fill in the gaps with holidays, jobs around the house and social activities. Once retired, this structure will disappear and your problem will change from a lack of time to do anything to too much time to do very little. It is too simplistic to assume that you will fill your days, evenings and weekends with playing golf, visiting family and friends.


“We believe everyone should have a happy, healthy and purposeful retirement by considering the non-financial (ART) aspects of retirement planning”.

We do this having a properly structured retirement planning process which commences with an initial assessment of your readiness for retirement, identification of your gaps from a financial and non-financial aspect. We then work together and provide strategies, coaching and recommendations to make sure you are prepared well in advance for a retirement that you look forward to.

What are your observations of people or friends that you have that have retired successfully or unsuccessfully?

General Advice Warning: Any advice on this site is general advice only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. It does not represent legal, tax, or personal advice and should not be relied on as such. You should obtain financial advice relevant to your circumstances before making any decisions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top