Why retiring is about more than money

The difficult part of retirement for a lot of successful people isn’t about the money; it’s about the perceived loss of importance. It’s a blow to their ego. A lot of intelligent people never see this on the horizon. If you gently point this out to clients and talk about it, you’ll separate yourself from the herd of other financial advisors.

For someone on the life insurance side of being a financial advisor, managing relationships is probably more important than managing money. Managing relationships will put you in the human nature business.

Some of these relationships are with people who want to retire or who are already retired. Most of us can figure the rate of return on money. However, the rate of return with people and your relationship with them is exponential. Math has no emotion, but people do.


People who are comfortable in their own skin seem to adapt best to retirement. But the higher up a person has gone, the harder it is. Remember, most of us have had a front-row seat to a lot of great examples of how to retire well. If clients are struggling with this, pick up the phone. Wish them well; take them out for lunch. At the end of the day, what most people want from other human beings is kindness.

Abundance is a state of mind. We don’t always need more. We need each other, and that will be enough; it always has been.

How are you sleeping?

If a client looks like they might be struggling and you ask if everything is OK, they probably aren’t going to open up to you all the time. However, if you ask how they are sleeping, most of the time they will tell you what’s bothering them.

This type of intuitive behavior, called active empathy, is valuable in our profession.

Tapping into empathy and wisdom

First, you’re young. Then, you’re middle-aged. Then, you’re wonderful. Be age appropriate and enjoy the wisdom that comes with it.

Make a retired person’s day and give them a sincere compliment. Older people, and even middle-aged people, tend to be overlooked and marginalized by society and the media. Young people look at us some days like we’re invisible.

I have the same hands and the same feet. However, my heart and brain have grown because of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Scott Brennan, of South Bend, Indiana, USA, is a 41-year MDRT member. He’s an MDRT Past President and a Court of the Table member. This was excerpted from his 2018 MDRT Annual Meeting presentation, “My shadow ran fast.” (MDRT member exclusive; available in six languages)

For more about discussing retirement planning with clients:

  • Scotty, Love your wisdom and insight

  • What I seen on our society, Senior citizens are more possessive and Most of Retired person had fulfilled their retirement planning or sometimes their family members or kids didn’t allow to go for solid retirement planning due to generation gaps or difference of opinions… Sometimes insecure feelings and Lack of vision or Lack of updation of Financial scenario,Lack of Legacy Planning and provisions of unexpected emergency planning are common in India in both Educated and Illiterate people…

  • Scottie your words like your spirit and presence make the world a better place for me.
    Love you brother and I’m looking forward to our annual chat this year in Vancouver.

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