The New Retirement: Improv? or Performance Art?
Next week, we welcome Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin as Laird Norton Wealth Management’s fall Thought Forum speaker. As one of the foremost thinkers in the world on the intersection of aging and technology, we fully expect Dr. Coughlin to both provoke and entice us with his vision of ‘The Golden Years, Version 2.0.’ He’ll challenge us to define what living well for 100 years really means. Will there be an end to those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials? Will there be a way to keep driving that car at age 98 without fear of harming anyone? Can we keep our loved ones near and dear even if we live at a distance?
A taste of what’s to come appeared in his most recent BigThink blog post on baby boomers and retirement called “Why Baby Boomer Retirement Will Be An Improv Act.” Here, Dr. Coughlin lays out his thesis that for baby boomers looking at retirement, all bets are off. The old rules of retirement – whether sociological or financial – just don’t apply any more. And in a world where the old rules are out and the new rules are unclear, many boomers will be left in a state of improvisation (just a fancy word for faking it). Scary. Humbling. Worrisome.
Here at LNWM, we propose another way: embracing what’s next in life, both human and financial, in all its complexity and making it sustainable. It’s not easy. It takes careful planning and disciplined execution, but that is how you create a future that is regenerative and not degenerative. And in the doing, improv can become performance art!