The Most Overlooked Aspects of Retirement: A True Retirement Story with Fritz Gilbert

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[175] – What is it like to go from dreaming about retirement to actually being retired? Today we’ll dive into a true retirement story with Fritz Gilbert.

In this episode, Jeremy Keil speaks with Fritz Gilbert, author of the book, Keys to a Successful Retirement, and blog, The Retirement Manifesto, about the realities of retirement. Fritz explains the gap between retirement expectations and actual experiences, particularly the underestimation of non-financial challenges. He discusses the need for comprehensive planning, considering the potential for early retirement due to unforeseen circumstances. Jeremy and Fritz’s conversation offers deep insights into the often-overlooked aspects of preparing for retirement.

Fritz discusses:

  • Fritz Gilbert’s journey to retirement 
  • Importance of the non-financial aspects of retirement
  • When you know it’s the right time to retire for you
  • The 90/10 rule of retirement
  • And more

A True Retirement Story

What does the transition from working life to retirement look like?

Shifting from a career-oriented life into retirement is a profound shift that marks the culmination of years dedicated to professional pursuits.

This journey involves navigating a spectrum of emotions, from the anticipation of newfound freedom to the potential challenges of adjusting to a lifestyle without a formal work structure. 

While it may entail some adjustments, the transition into retirement also presents an opportunity for you to embrace a new chapter of life, filled with diverse experiences and the pursuit of personal passions.

Why do I need to plan for the non-financial parts of retirement? 

A central theme that emerges from many retirees is the importance of non-financial aspects in retirement planning.

Drawing from his experience, Fritz Gilbert emphasizes the significance of intentional thinking about aspects beyond financials in his book, Keys to a Successful Retirement

One crucial key is recognizing and valuing the non-financial elements derived from work, such as relationships, structure, and personal challenges. Retirement brings a shift from a highly structured working day to an unstructured retirement day, and pre-planning helps to maintain a sense of order.

Another vital aspect is cultivating positive thinking because preconceived negative notions can become self-fulfilling. By fostering a positive mindset, retirees can overcome potential challenges and focus on the myriad positive aspects that retirement brings. 

Whether it’s building relationships, finding new challenges, or embracing a positive outlook, these non-financial considerations are fundamental to a fulfilling retirement journey.

What is the right time to retire?

This can be a tricky question to answer.

Determining the right time to retire is a nuanced decision. However, understanding that your path to retirement is unique will play a pivotal role in recognizing the opportune moment for you.

It’s important to carefully consider the trade-offs of retiring sooner compared to later. Weigh the financial and non-financial aspects, such as relationships, purpose, and identity, that often get overlooked in the retirement planning process.

Ultimately, don’t necessarily keep working just because everyone else is, and don’t retire at a specific age just because you hit a benchmark number. Retire when it makes sense for your personal situation.

What is the 90/10 Rule of retirement?

The 90/10 rule is a unique perspective on balancing work and leisure during the retirement phase.

In the years leading up to retirement, the majority of our focus, around 90%, is understandably on the financial side. Concerns about ensuring our money lasts throughout retirement dominate our thoughts.

However, retirees often find themselves flipping the script. Approximately a couple of years into retirement, the financial worries that once consumed 90% of their attention dwindle to a mere 10%.

Why? Because life happens outside of finances. 

Whether it’s engaging in charity work, pursuing personal passions like writing, or simply relishing the things that bring excitement, retirees shift their focus.

This unique shift is a common blind spot, with many initially skeptical that it could happen to them. The 90/10 rule serves as a powerful reminder that while financial planning is crucial, the richness of retirement unfolds in the non-financial aspects.

Why is it better to start planning for retirement sooner?

Starting retirement planning sooner helps make the transition into retirement smoother.

While many envision retiring around age 65, the reality is over 50% retire earlier than they anticipated and the circumstances are frequently beyond their control, such as job downsizing or health-related concerns for family members.

This unexpected early retirement trend underscores the need for comprehensive preparation well in advance.

By starting preparations well in advance of when you plan to retire, you can be better equipped for surprises, helping to ensure financial stability and a sense of purpose in retirement. In addition to early planning, it’s a good idea to consider exploring passion projects or side hustles that, while pursuing personal fulfillment, can serve as additional sources of income if needed.

Overall, the key takeaway is clear: start planning for retirement earlier to navigate potential challenges and seize opportunities for a fulfilling retirement journey.


To learn more about the realities of retirement, check out the resources listed below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or our guest, Fritz Gilbert, using the contact information provided below!


Connect With Fritz Gilbert:

Connect With Jeremy Keil:

About Our Guest:

Fritz Gilbert is a retired aluminum executive turned writer, enjoying retirement in the mountains while contributing his industry expertise through work on a Board of Directors. He is also the founder of The Retirement Manifesto, an award-winning blog where he focuses on “Helping People Achieve A Great Retirement”.



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