What Does The Great Resignation, Retirement And A Yo-yo Have In Common?

Frank Summers |

I think about retirement – a lot. I should, it’s my job, and so The Great Resignation has me paying attention. 

The Great Resignation is real, and it’s happening now, with some surprises. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the months of April, May, and June 2021, a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs. Recent studies indicate that it's likely not over. A survey of over 30,000 workers conducted by Microsoft found that 41 percent are considering quitting; that number jumps to 54 percent when Gen-Z is considered alone. Gallup found that 48 percent of employees are actively searching for new opportunities. 

One surprise is that in 2020, 4.35 million people applied to start new businesses, up from 3.5 million 2019.  I’m interested in understanding how people are employed, what kind of benefits they have, and how they feel about things, so this has me thinking…about yo-yos, in particular…or more accurately YOYO.

When it comes to retirement planning, especially for someone starting their own business, YOYO stands for You’re On Your Own. The good news is that you don't need to be. Only 10% of people have a written retirement plan. Boston College Center for Retirement Research’s National Retirement Risk Index (NRRI), which pre-pandemic said that 50% of households are in danger of lacking sufficient funds to continue their standard of living once they stop working. After coronavirus-induced months of economic misery, that number has jumped to 55%. 

After living through COVID, if there’s one thing we deserve, it’s to dream. My dream includes spending my retirement summertimes in Provincetown, carefree, enjoying those cool mornings, sipping coffee and eating a fattening baked good on Commercial Street, watching people walk by. It’s a nice dream and I plan for it to happen. 

Older generations planned for retirement by having pensions that told them how much money they’d receive every month. Many were promised a lifetime of healthcare once they’d given enough time to their company. These days, we have none of that – what we have is the alarming news that the Social Security Trust Fund is shorter on cash than had been anticipated (again, thanks COVID!). So how can you take control?

  1. Recognize that many retired people today had pension managers who carefully invested funds to ensure benefits would be there, while you do not. The responsibility for ensuring that funds are there is on you. You have a decision to make: whether to go it alone and hope for the best or to get some professional advice.
  2. Make sure you know your retirement numbers – such as what you need to save to have a target income in retirement. 
  3. Get educated about the realities of expenses in retirement. Healthcare costs, what Social Security will really provide, what opportunities are available, especially the ones that the government encourages through tax benefits.
  4. DREAM. One of the strongest motivators to achieve anything is to have a vision. Even if you don’t have a specific “coffee drinking on Commercial Street” dream, you can still envision financial freedom. It’s a wonderful dream.

Retirement planning is my job. I think about these things every day. Shouldn’t you have someone in your corner who thinks about these things, who knows what to expect and how to help you plan--Your own personal retirement advice counselor?  

Do you feel that you’re on your own? You don’t need to be. Schedule a consultation. Let’s talk about your thoughts, your concerns, and your dreams. Where do you dream of spending leisurely summer mornings? Let’s talk. Click here to schedule a discussion.