Retirement and Career Planning – Do You Neglect Both?

Retirement and Career Planning

PlanningYou may be wondering what retirement and career planning have in common.

For most baby boomers, we have neglected both!

My mantra is I am a baby boomer who was raised to be an employee, and I was to go to work for a father-like company who would take care of me until I retired.

Retirement planning—there was no need!

Career planning—my company was going to help and guide me with that!

(More: Baby Boomers and Retirement “Professional” Infographic

Help with Retirement Planning

I was listening to talk radio last weekend when a local financial services ad played.  The advertisement talked about a report by Harvard University professor Robert Merton that discussed the impending retirement crisis. I found the article, called The Crisis in Retirement Planning, on and listened to it. It’s very thought provoking.

Most of us baby boomers when we started our careers were offered a defined benefit retirement plan (pension). This was professionally managed and, when we decided to retire, we would have a lifetime income in our retirement. By the late 1990s, companies were rapidly phasing out defined benefit plans.

Starting in the late 1980s, defined contribution retirement plans (IRA and 401(k)) were offered. We would contribute money each paycheck, and our employer might match a portion. We were responsible for managing the portfolio. When we retire, we need to manage how to create an income stream. Do you know how create income from your 401(k) or IRA? I don’t.

I have a unique perspective on this topic. My father was a research economist for the New York Stock Exchange for over 25 years. I grew up hearing my father talk about the financial markets. My father was an egghead intellectual.

When I graduated from college in the late 70s and started my career with IBM, I thought I could manage my own money. When I reached my 30s, I realized I did not know crap on how to manage my money, so I sought a financial adviser. I have been with one ever since.

Professor Merton’s premise is that most of us are not qualified to manage our retirement portfolio. I agree with him.

I could study up and do it myself, which I am sure some of you do. But…I do not want to. I have no interest in the topic.

Have you run a retirement calculator? 56% of workers report that they have not attempted to calculate how much money they will need to have saved for a comfortable retirement. (Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Are you qualified to perform retirement planning?

Are you ignoring retirement planning?

Are you getting help with your retirement planning? Will you be able to retire as you planned?

(More: Baby Boomer Career Development Plan

Help with Career Planning

I am in my late 50s and am on my seventh career! I started my career business in 2011. Looking back, I wish I had also had someone to advise me throughout my career.

The great recession shook the baby boomer generation to its core. Many baby boomers saw their retirement portfolios crumble and they exited the market. Many were laid off and, when they found jobs, they made significantly less money.

Suddenly, most of us plunged into a world where traditional job search methods were thrown out the window. Social media became the way many companies found talent. Your resume is almost irrelevant.

I am approached frequently by baby boomers who have been unemployed for six months or longer. Many voluntarily took a package. They are now in financial trouble. They come to me looking for help, but they can no longer afford to pay me. They waited thinking they could find that next job on their own.

In 2013, I was twice approached by retired senior military who had left the military and thought they would quickly find jobs in the private sector. Both came to me after 9 months of unemployment—in a panic.

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a former CFO who took a voluntary package. She has been unemployed for a year, and is now dipping into her retirement savings. I told her a typical job search for someone like herself is 12-18 months and could be longer if it is not handled properly.

I am working with two clients at the same company to plan their exit. That exit could come in the next three months or over the next three years. They will move when the time is right!

Just like retirement planning, are you qualified to manage your career?

Just like retirement planning, are you ignoring managing your career?

Do not wait until you get laid off. Plan your career NOW! Always be ready for your next career pivot!

Contact me for a free 30 minute consultation

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist


Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?


When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library


Check out my book which is available on!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers


You can also download my latest white paperStrategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group


  1. Liked your article. Is there a peer group that working with baby boomers on some of the issues you mentioned?

Speak Your Mind