Fulfillment in Retirement

PUBLISHED Oct 18, 2022, 11:42:00 AM        SHARE

imgFiPhysician Blog

Fulfillment in Retirement

Fulfillment in retirement is my new goal. As part of my post-honeymoon period of retirement wanderings, I had a sort-of-crisis of success. After all, my career was successful! What more does one need in life?

Once you have enough money, we know that more money does not make you happier or more fulfilled.

What about success? Is enough success enough? Not if your goal is fulfillment in retirement.

Self-Actualization in Retirement

My quandary started with a failure of Maslow’s.

We all know self-actualization sits atop Maslow’s Hierarchy. So what data supports his conclusion that we are called to improve our lives? Well, none.

When I looked for self-actualization in retirement, I found a blank page. Why bother with self-actualization as a “need.” It isn’t. Self-actualization, as it turns out, is a choice.

Success in Retirement

Next, because I’m just that kind of person, I looked to evolution for the answer. Since I argue that fulfillment in retirement is a choice rather than a need, what do our genes have to say on the topic? Are we evolved always to be looking for success? Nope. Or, at least not in the way you might think.

While we never really “know” what evolution “wants” from us, this is more than a just-so story.

As it turns out, success (at least from an evolutionary perspective) hinges not on self-fulfillment for the sake of self-fulfillment, but rather to meet other “critically important social goals.”

The desire for self-actualization from an evolutionary perspective is an accident of other evolutionary desires.

That, or, it is a choice.

Fulfillment in Retirement – Mentorship

Next, I went looking for answers from mentors. So what do two legendary physicians, underappreciated in their time, say about success and self-actualization?

These two, a neurologist and psychologist, are paradigm-shifting physicians who will not get the recognition they deserve in their lifetime. Instead, future generations will laud them for contributions above and beyond their medical careers. Let’s meet them.

William Bernstein, MD

I assume you knowBill Bernstein, MD, from his many books.

Bill, believe it or not, is one of the first people actually to use data to inform investment decisions. He thought we should approach investing with the same rigor as we approach medicine. Revolutionary!

Since then, he has become a powerhouse writer. His Investing for Adults is required reading if you want to apply rational thought to investing.

I had the pleasure of meeting Bill last year. When I asked him about success and retirement, he said:

“the moment you shut off the meaningful things in your life, whether it’s writing, volunteering, being with your grandkids, or any combination of those and a million other things, you die.” – William Bernstein, MD

Please get to know Bill, as he is a physician who epitomizes fulfillment in retirement. His choice.

Randolph Nesse, MD

You probably know Randy Nesse, MD, from his paradigm-shifting work on Why We Get Sick. His new book, Good Reasons for Bad Feelings, is the best book on evolutionary medicine in psychiatry.

He said:

“mood is influenced most not by success or failure but by rate of progress toward a goal.… Baseline mood is remarkably stable for most people, and variations reflect mainly the rate of progress toward a goal” – Randy Nesse, MD

For Dr. Nesse, a goal provides positive “variation” on your mood. I guess that means a good mood! And you achieve said good mood by making progress towards a goal. Thus, having a goal (self-actualization) is success in retirement.

Please get to know Randy, as he is a physician who embodies fulfillment in retirement. His choice.

Fulfillment in Retirement – The Final Breakthrough

My final breakthrough came early this morning on a walk when I listened to Tony Robbins on the Tim Ferriss podcast. Finally, it is clear—the goal in life (and retirement) is fulfillment rather than success.

“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.” -Tony Robbins

Tony talks about achievement vs. fulfillment, and I think there are valuable lessons to learn. I’ll let you form your own conclusions, but this is important stuff.

Notice the importance of working on internal thought processes in self-actualization and fulfillment in retirement—again, a choice.

Summary – Fulfillment in Retirement

Fulfillment in retirement, as in any other stage of life, has little to do with your accomplishments. It is not about success; it is about seeking. Growing. Learning. Having a code of family values upon which you can act. Fulfillment in retirement is a choice.

I learned a lot this week by asking a question. Through Maslow’s failure, I found fulfillment in life is a choice. You have to do it.

What is the alternative?

Originally Posted in FiPhysician

Sound investments
don't happen alone

Find your crew, build teams, compete in VS MODE, and identify investment trends in our evergrowing investment ecosystem. You aren't on an island anymore, and our community is here to help you make informed decisions in a complex world.

More Reads
Using RMDs to Assess Asset Allocation

Can you use RMDs to help determine your asset allocation in the retirement drawdown phase? Imagine you are living off your assets (taking an income from your nest egg). What might your asset allocation be to minimize the sequence of returns risk due to RMDs?

Am I investing for me or my kids?

Investing in retirement is all about tradeoffs. Of course, all decisions are tradeoffs—when you choose one path, you can’t go down the other—but let’s focus on retirement investing! What are the major tradeoffs you face when investing during retirement? Remember, this blog is for those who have oversaved for retirement. This is a safe space to discuss first-world problems! If you have oversaved for retirement, you need to decide on your asset allocation: how well do I sleep at night vs. how rich do I want the kids to be?

My Strategies For Dealing With a Down Stock Market

How do I handle my stock portfolio during a market downturn? How do I cope with seeing my stocks drop in value? Should I sell? Should I keep investing? These questions came up recently in the Simply Investing Forum. This blog post will answer these questions.

Market Musing 10-16-2022, Fed Fiasco 2022, Keep your hedges on

The SPX hit a 27.5% market correction last week. Why? Because Fed Chair Powell is forecasting another 100 to 125 basis points higher rate before the end of 2022.

Market Musing 10-10-2022, shots-fired-are-new-lows-on-deck

So good jobs data caused another market selloff. Why? Because Fed Chair Powell is forecasting another 100 to 125 basis points higher rate before the end of 2022.

Market Musing 10-04-2022, Is the Fed backed into a corner?

The Markets are bouncing off the hope that the Fed will slow down rate hikes. Fed Chair Powell is forecasting another 100 to 125 basis points higher rate before the end of 2022.

Still Within a Down Trend

stock market commentary

Cash Management for your Personal Finances

We often think about cash flow by looking in the rear-view mirror. What came in and went out last month or last year. Remember, the importance of building awareness

Goal Setting is About Process and Habits

Start reaching your financial goals by setting habits and processes

How Are NFTs Worth Money?

NFTs have been touted to just be pictures and nothing more. Find out in the article how NFTs are worth money.

Top Stocks for Beginners to try Right Now

Beginner stocks are investments a consumer will recognize that has a straightforward business model and proven stability

The Top Lifestyle Stocks to Buy Now

These are top lifestyle stocks to check out. These ideas come straight from the community

4 Estate Planning Actions You Should Stop Putting Off

Estate planning may seem like something to do later, but these 4 actions are easy to do and very important

Bottoming Or Lower ?

Stock Market Commentary

10 Steps to Take to Retire in 10 Years

Everyone dreams of retiring early. However, it usually stops there. If you are serious about early retirement, you need to consider what steps to take to make it happen. So, if you plan to stop working in the next decade, here are 10 steps to take to retire in the next 10 years.

What Is Indebtedness And How Do I Avoid It?

Many people have heard that indebtedness can lead to financial troubles. But what exactly is indebtedness, and how do you avoid it? Fortunately, the concept of indebtedness is pretty easy to understand.

The Positives and Negatives of Credit

Some people have short memories or perhaps they are just born optimists. The level of debt in the USA is growing at the fastest rate since the recession hit. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has reported that the current level of consumer debt is $11.52 trillion higher than it was towards the end of the recession in 2011.

Start Tax Planning Now (and students, get your free money!)

Year-end tax planning in October? It is not too early, my friends.

Free Retirement Matching - The 401k Workplace Benefit

One of the things we're trying to accomplish here is empowering you and your family financially.

Protect yourself while actively trading

Amateur Investor Manipulation: Watch out if you’re actively trading on Robinhood

Resources for Publishers
Resources for New Investors

Boosted with BossCoin