Retirement Blitz – Boot Camp and beyond

August 14, 2009 at 1:08 am 5 comments

73fb51c88da034533b122210.L._SL500_AA240_Because several of my close friends recently retired and several more are making plans, it seems that everywhere I turn I see information on retirement. It’s true not as many Boomers as I expected are actually going through with it, but news and financial media are definitely continuing to focus on the changing face of retirement.

For example, when I visited my local Borders several weeks ago, I walked past the magazine section where they displayed the 6/22/09 issue of Fortune Magazine, a “Special Investor’s Issue” devoted to retirement with the cover story labeled “You Can Still Retire Rich (Really!)” Of course I flipped through the contents and was intrigued enough to go back to the Library and read through it more carefully. While access to this issue online is no longer available from the Fortune website, once there you can use the key word “retirement” to retrieve many recent articles on the subject. Or you can visit the Library and read the magazine in its entirety, and/or use the Library’s database subscription to EBSCOhost to access individual articles in the magazine.

Another item that caught my attention was an article in the New York TimesA Boot Camp to Prepare for Retirement.” Two women, Marcia Tillotson and Joy Kenefick who work with Wells Fargo Advisors in Charlotte, North Carolina, have developed a retirement boot camp to help individuals prepare for retirement and decide if they really are ready to stop working. The idea is to put the participants through a series of drills or exercises that mimic what retirement will feel like.

The boot camp lasts about a year and, according to the article, about eight out of 10 pre-retirees who go through the training decide to work longer than they originally planned. The women share a general outline of their program which includes drills on the following: Spending (a cash-flow analysis), Net Worth Statement (looking at your assets and liabilities), Insurance Audit, Goal Setting, Increase Savings, Tax Planning, Charitable Giving, and Estate Planning.

I’m not sure I agree with all their advice (they recommend paying off your mortgage before retirement) but I like the idea of simulating retirement before you actually take the plunge and I think the areas they’ve identified for their drills give one a good framework from which to begin making decisions.

I also stumbled across a free workbook and DVD set offered from the MetLife Mature Market Institute that contains assessment tools, information, and resources to help those contemplating whether or not to retire, and how to move on with encore careers. The workbook is based on methods developed by author and life coach, Richard Leider, author of Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life. The workbook is a follow-up to the Institute’s January 2009 study, Discovering What Matters: Balancing Money, Medicine and Meaning, and is available free by e-mailing

During these troubled times, a military analogy for retirement planning (boot camp) seems fitting, and the best advice one can give is to arm yourself with as much information as possible, drill on the essentials, and have an escape strategy.

How have you prepared yourself for retirement? Did your plans turn out as expected? Please share your experiences with us – add a comment below.


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The Generation M Manifesto A Fine Walk Along the Coast

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rita  |  August 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the post on retirement articles and DVDs.

    In these tough economic times, boomers need to be even more careful on how they approach retirement.

    I blog at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide at


    • 2. torrancepubliclibrary  |  August 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm

      Thank you for making a comment on our blog post – hope you enjoyed it! Does your blog have a blogroll? We are working on increasing our readership and hoping to become part of the “Boomer blogosphere.” It would be great if you could link to us somehow – We’ve added your very informative blog to our blogroll.
      Thx! – rs

  • 3. Bill Bartmann  |  September 2, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Great site…keep up the good work.

  • 4. Bill Bartmann  |  September 8, 2009 at 5:38 am

    This site rocks!

  • 5. 401k Asset Allocation  |  October 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    The Fortune magazine must be meant for people with a six figure salary. The best way to save is by contributing to a IRA or 401k plan.


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