Certified Financial Planner Carl Richards, a.k.a. The Sketch Guy, writes “In all my years of working with clients, I can only think of two people who wanted to retire in the traditional sense.” His clients find some sort of work (paid or unpaid) they want to do for the rest of their lives, or at least well after age 65. This surprised me because it is at odds with my own experience.
I sat down and wrote down the names of the first 20 people I could think of who have retired. All but four of them retired to a life of leisure, unlike Richards’ clients. Of the four, one does small contracting jobs on the side, one runs a small farm, one had to go back to work because his pension got chopped, and the last one is partnering with his son to get the son’s real estate career off the ground. Sixteen of them are enjoying their leisure.
This speaks to how rarefied the clients of some advisors are. Virtually all financial advisors prefer rich clients. The best advisors have minimums in the hundreds of thousands, but prefer clients with millions. I guess it’s not surprising that many with the drive to make millions like to keep going as they age.
I’m sure that Richards knows his clients well, but he goes off the rails when he says “The concept of retirement, as we understand it today, is completely outdated.” This may be true for his clients, but not for the unwashed masses. We can expect the nature of retirement to evolve over time, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for the day when almost all retirees continue to work some sort of job.