My colleague Jonathon Jordan recently published a blog  on what is called the “work-optional lifestyle” in which he did an excellent job of addressing the common myths that many financial advisors have about retirement:

Jonathan describes this myth as:

When I thought of retirement, I always had a picture in my mind of a couple laughing together on the tee-box, about ready to begin their daily round of golf, hanging out with other friends who were doing the same thing. They were carefree, secure and at the pinnacle of their lives after many years of hard work, raising a family and overcoming life’s daily challenges. I didn’t create this image, but it was formed for me as a child reading golf magazines or watching commercials for retirement communities.

However, as Jonathan notes, the number “who aspired to have this retirement lifestyle when we met was exactly ZERO.”  Instead, as Jon notes, at Walkner Condon, we prefer to view the goal as a “work optional lifestyle.”

Through conversations with our clients, Jonathan says: “we identify the time that our clients will stop trading their hours and hard work for a paycheck and have the freedom to do things with their time that are meaningful and fulfilling to their lives.”  Such language also speaks to what Americans retiring abroad are often seeking: they are eschewing the traditional images of retirement propagated in the media in favor of new challenges (learning a new language, for instance), because they want to have the choice to keep growing in retirement.  However, like many dreams, retiring abroad isn’t always as simple as it might appear.  Consequently, just as we do for clients who are retiring in the United States, Walkner Condon’s international team is committed to helping make that work optional lifestyle abroad a reality, by listening to what you are looking for in retirement and helping you design a plan that makes that possible.  Moreover, our specialized knowledge in cross-border situations means that we can not only make a positive impact on your financial life before you go, but help you maintain your work-optional lifestyle while you are there, by ensuring tax compliance and smart portfolio management.

Such planning can be useful whether you stay abroad for a little while or for the rest of your life. As Jonathon says, “Remember, if you choose not to work, at least you gave yourself that option!”

Check out the original blog post at Walkner Condon here.