Living a Fulfilling Life in Retirement

By Ellen T. Jordan, CFP®, Investment Advisor, Bryn Mawr Trust

The topic of retirement planning can raise anyone’s blood pressure: have you done enough? What does “it” look like? “Retirement” can be highly subjective, and men and women describe it differently. Men describe retirement as a destination, an endpoint; however, women describe it as a new phase of life, peace, and opportunity.1 These descriptions are encouraging considering the ongoing obstacles women face regarding the gender pay gap, having longer life expectancies, and historically lacking financial knowledge and confidence to manage their retirement.

Thankfully, there is progress occurring! In a recent Bryn Mawr Trust survey about women and retirement, 826 women (age 40+) said that they are more involved in their retirement planning, more inclined to share the responsibility of planning for retirement with their spouse or partner and they are more comfortable asking for professional financial advice if needed.3 

Consider these four steps when transitioning to your new phase of life in retirement.

Continue to be Financially Savvy

The focus on managing finances doesn’t go away, it shifts. In pre-retirement, you have regular income focused on saving; however, in retirement, after the paychecks stop, your focus is on spending from your savings. This transition can be very stressful if not appropriately planned for. Have a clear understanding of your expenses and create a thorough budget that you update at least annually, and at the occurrence of a life event (death of a spouse/sale of home). Working with a financial advisor may help you make more informed decisions about your financial planning.

Embrace Your Purpose and Meaning

Now is the time to try the things you had been putting off – traveling, playing a new instrument, learning a new sport, engaging in philanthropic activities, or exploring a new business opportunity. Having new personal goals can help maintain a sense of purpose and ensure a peaceful and rewarding retirement experience.

Good Health, Wellness, and a Strong Social Network

As we age, staying healthy is increasingly important. During retirement, chronic illness and physical limitations are more common. Try to exercise regularly, focus on a balanced diet, and continue routine health checkups. To stay mentally active, consider new hobbies such as crossword puzzles, or taking continuing education courses. Build a strong support network by joining clubs, volunteering, participating in community events, or engaging with friends to provide emotional and physical support.

Changes in Family Dynamics

Retirement can bring changes to your family dynamics. Spending time with your spouse, children, and grandchildren may be joyful, but it can also be more complex than you may think. Be clear in your communication and set appropriate boundaries. If you have other plans for your retirement other than making lunch every day or watching your grandchildren, be sure to make your intentions known. Everyone will be happier if you do.

Ultimately, try to keep a positive mindset – this is a new phase of life. The process of aging brings new challenges but with proper planning, these challenges can be addressed. Remain diligent in your financial affairs, stay connected with friends, family, and your community, and keep growing to find your purpose so you can live alife fulfilled in retirement.

1 Joseph Coughlin, Men View Retirement as A Final Chapter While Many Women See A Fresh Start,

Ellen is an investment advisor providing comprehensive financial planning services to clients of Bryn Mawr Trust. She works collaboratively with all divisions of the Bank to ensure that each client’s financial needs are fully addressed and met.  Ellen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted by research company Opinium. The sample included 826 national female respondents ages 40+ with either a household income of $175K+ or investable assets of $1M+. The online survey was conducted from December 14-18, 2023, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent.

This communication is provided by Bryn Mawr Trust for informational purposes only. Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and may have been impacted by events and economic conditions that will not prevail in the future. No portion of this commentary is to be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell a security or the provision of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Certain information contained in this report is derived from sources that Bryn Mawr Trust believes to be reliable; however, Bryn Mawr Trust does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and assumes no liability for any resulting damages.

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