Preparing for Retirement Isn’t Just About Finances

Our attitude and preparation toward retirement savings is continually evolving as we age.  For past generations the ever-growing need for retirement funding was normally calculated based on varying levels of inflation and cost of living increases. However, this formula has become a bit more complex in the present day. The need for growing retirement funding is not only affected by inflation, but is compounded by rising health care and drug costs, which continue to outpace normal inflation. Furthermore, it is affected by the uncertain future of entitlement benefits like Social Security and pensions, and our increasing life expectancy. In the U.S., the average life expectancy has jumped from 69.77 in 1960 to almost 79 years of age currently¹. A man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average until age 84.3. A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.62. We are fortunate to be living longer and healthier lives. But are we prepared? Statistical data suggests that 33% of Americans do not have any money (ZERO!) saved for retirement with another 23% having $10,000 or less in retirement savings. Only 26% report having healthy retirement savings of $200,000 or more.3

Reaching out to your employer’s benefit specialists regarding pension and retirement funding or consulting a financial planner are a must- especially if you think you’re not where you want or need to be. But aside from money, what about the other aspects of life after retirement?

Like most times in life, having the necessary finances to live and play during retirement is crucial, but there are other areas in life that need similar attention, planning and consideration. Despite the average life span jumping as it has, retirement age has not kept pace. An increasing number of people will live 20-30 years past retirement. “Will the money last?” is likely at the forefront for most, but what will we do to fill that time with purpose, meaning and productivity? What will that journey truly look like for 1, 2, 3 or even 4 decades as a retiree? How will the time sustain you? How will it get you up in the morning?

Part of finding this balance and ensuring a positive experience in retirement is changing our attitude toward aging as well as embracing it as a time of gain, not loss. In a continual effort by Messiah Lifeways Coaching to change the conversation about aging and to explore and plan for the future, we’re pleased to announce a new service called Retirement Options Coaching. This new program is here to help retirees plan for their next phase of life by assessing, focusing, and guiding retirees through a Life Options Profile which concentrates on six key life arenas:

  • Career and WorkCertified Retirement Coach Seal
  • Health and Wellness
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Family and Relationships
  • Leisure and Social
  • Personal Development

As a certified Retirement Options Coach, I can now administer the Life Options Profile™ which evaluates these six areas and will provide you with a personal, practical, and relevant self-portrait of one’s lifestyle needs and strengths. It also provides insight and guidance on transitioning from your current lifestyle to a new retirement lifestyle. Suggested reading, powerful questions and client exercises work in conjunction with the Life Options Profile™ and will enable retirees to examine and plan for a more fulfilling, healthy and productive lifestyle and can help balance many of the other attributes vital to a successful retirement.

Not sure where you stand? Take this simple retirement quiz and see if you are prepared.

To learn more about this valuable program, rates, or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Coaching office at 717.591.7225 or email

¹ World Bank
² Social Security Administrations 1 in 3 Americans Has Saved $0 for Retirement by Elyssa Kirkham / GoBankingRates



Matthew J. Gallardo

Matthew J. Gallardo

Matt is the Director of Community Engagement and Coaching at Messiah Lifeways. He brings nearly 20 years of experience in counseling, advocating, and guiding older adults and caregivers through many of life’s tough decisions. His diverse background of working in hospital and rehabilitation settings, community services, and senior housing gives him the breadth and depth of knowledge to provide unique solutions, opportunities, and help individuals proactively plan for the future. He serves as the Lifeways Coach and as a writer, blogger, podcaster, and speaker for Messiah Lifeways, located in Mechanicsburg, PA.

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