Pretirement – Is it Real?

Baby boomers take pretirement by storm. Is it real?

Since 2011 10,000 baby boomers have turned sixty-five every day. This has caused the landscape of our social fabric to change dramatically. It is becoming increasingly clear that boomers do not want to act their age. They may not know exactly what they do want, but what they don’t want, is to be called “old” or “senior”, or even “retired”. Terms like, “reinventing” “second act” are being heralded as descriptions of the activities that baby boomers use to spend their time.

Pretirement seems like a better term to describe this period between when adults stop contributing to their retirement plans through deductions and yet have not started to draw down on their savings on a regular basis. This is a new state of adult life that marks the transition from a profitable occupation to a profitable avocation.

Many economists and financial planners see pretirement as a conflict that must be surmounted.  Pretirement to them means:

  • The act of planning for early retirement and
  • Planning to avoid probate
  • Planning for long-term care
  • Making sure your money lasts as long as you do

Ok, then what? Let’s face it, financial planning should not take more than a few hours out of each year to stay up to date.

Others are looking more at the social implications of the pretirement years and how a new mosaic of priorities and time management emerge. In all of these, rethinking is a common requirement.

Pretirees are really saying, hell no, this is not another time in my life that I am must drudge through to get to retirement. I don’t want to surmount this. I want to actively enjoy this.

They see pretirement as a period when the kids are, mostly, on their own – man is the only animal that lets the young back in the nest. They have done the twelve-hour work day when you include transit time and dealing with kid’s activities. For too long, they have sacrificed for others. It is finally their time. Once the kids are out of the house, they are ready to enjoy life again. it’s like when the last family dog or cat goes to animal heaven and you decide, I have picked up enough poop and changed enough kitty litter for one life.  Many boomers just don’t want to be home by a certain time anymore to look after pets. They want to enjoy their new-found freedoms.

Pretirement is the time to move past the reflection of what have I accomplished, and on to where can I make the biggest difference with my talents, and expand my horizons of creative life and lifestyle.

The sheer number of baby boomer pretirees transitioning into the next state of existence has led to an entirely new financial economy with tremendous entrepreneurial requirements, the “longevity economy”.  Many of this newly defined cohort are actively looking to expand their contribution to society as well as exploit their wisdom to work for themselves. Pretirement is a time for a second career for many of those leaving the workforce, with one-third of new businesses being started by those over the age of fifty, per the research by the Kaufman Foundation.

The advantages that the current pretirees, the baby boomers, bring to the table to start a business career after leaving an employment career are multi-faceted Including confidence, experience, wisdom, financial security, basic business acumen, clear goals, and the ability to work with others, just to name a few.

One thing is for certain. The pretirement baby boomers are itching for new input on many intellectual fronts. They are staying curious and looking for answers to problems they see in the world. They want information and they want to learn. They see their next 20-30 years as a great adventure and they want to participate to the fullest.

If you are in that cohort of baby boomers who are creating a new beginning, we want to know what has driven you to begin again? What has inspired you? Where, and how, have you gotten new skills that you needed to create your new raison d’etre? Not only do others need to hear your story, others will be inspired by your challenges and successes. Remember, leave the woodpile higher than the way you found it.

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