How Major Life Events Affect Your Retirement

Today’s Wisdom:

You never know what major life events will impact your life, but you can prepare yourself in case that day ever comes. On this episode, we’ll discuss some of the biggest life changes you might face as a retiree or pre-retiree and explain how they can affect your retirement.

Want to save time? Click the timestamps below to jump ahead to specific spots in the episode.

What You’ll Learn:

When we build our retirement plan, we often focus on the things within our control on a timeline we hope to follow. But as we all know, life never goes as we plan. Sometimes we are faced with difficult life events that can really impact our finances.

During this episode of Money Wisdom, we’ll spend the entire show discussing some of the major life events that we help clients get through. During our conversation, we’ll share real-life examples of how these events were handled and explain the financial decisions that often have to be made.

Here’s a look at what we discussed with timestamps that you can click to take you to specific conversations in the show.


Crisis Creates Opportunity

It can be very difficult to find the positive in a difficult situation, but crisis in our lives often opens up opportunity if we look for it. It might take a day or it might take a year, but there’s a light on the other side of the darkness. To begin the show, Joel shares one of his earliest memories of crisis and how he realized later that it created a true opportunity for him.

[0:32] – What do we mean when we say major life events?

[2:06] – We can take the Chinese translation for crisis and apply it to our financial life.

[2:35] – The story about the first crisis Joel remembers facing as a child and why it became an opportunity.


Major Life Events

The majority of our show focuses on the major life events we work with clients to move past. The topics we cover are early retirement packages being offered by your employer, being forced out of a job before you’re ready to retire, how do handle an inheritance, the death of a spouse, and divorce.

Each of these events have different degrees of emotion involved, but every one results in substantial financial considerations. Joel takes us through each event, explains the challenges you’ll face, and discuss the best options for handling each one.

[3:38] – Life event: The early retirement package. The buyout from work.

[4:32] – A client recently went through this process and had to make some big decisions.  

[7:57] – Life event: Sometimes you get forced out of a job before you are ready to retire. How do you handle this?

[11:07] – Life event: Receiving an inheritance.  

[13:38] – Listener question: I recently inherited an IRA from my mother and apparently I have to take some money out each year. Should I take a little each year or take it all at once and invest it elsewhere?

[14:42] – Life event: Divorce. What are the financial decisions that have to be made?  

[16:31] – Life event: The death of a spouse. What happens next financially?


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Final Thoughts:

“Lots of major life events that can impact and almost shift, not only your goals for retirement, but have kind of a tectonic shift, a little bit of an earthquake in what the future looks like compared to what you thought it was going to look like.”  

– Joel Johnson, Money Wisdom Podcast

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