Dave Buck has spent over 30 years of organizational and time management skills as an entrepreneur. He helps seasoned professionals 50 years and older find clarity around their career mindset, time management, retirement mindset, financial mindset, anticipated lifestyle, and personal activities so they can set up a meaningful and consequential lifestyle when their career becomes less important.

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Mark: We will discuss a fascinating topic on the show today because Dave specializes in time management after retirement. I never thought about this because I don’t want to retire. But a lot of people feel, “Okay, I retired. Now what?”

Dave Buck: Retirement for me will be very different than the traditional retirement, as I know it will be for you. The first thing I want to tell people to do is to think of this more, not as retirement, but post-career. And that post-career doesn’t mean that you have to stop working. But it’s about bringing the maximum amount of flexibility that you can. You may be as busy as ever.

Mark: What’s interesting is my father retired at age 55. My mom was 51 at the time. But they had a plan. When they retired, they sold their house, bought a fifth-wheel RV, and traveled the country. They did not call it post-career time management, but they had a plan. While they were still young, they wanted to travel around the country. My parents were pretty smart.

Dave: Gosh, your parents were ahead of the curve, Mark. Good for them. There is a study that has been done by the National Institutes of Health that says less than 20% of people have any type of plan headed into retirement. And they retire cold turkey. 

The natural reaction of people is to say, “Well, I’ve got more time, I’ll figure it out when I’m in retirement”. And I’m going to tell you that’s the wrong approach. You need to figure it out before you’re in retirement because otherwise, you can get into retirement and get into a black hole quickly from how you feel mentally, physically, and even spiritually. And so, having a plan beforehand helps you identify how to maximize what to do with all this extra time.

Mark: My dad, 82, is so busy these days. He’s always tinkering around the house and working on projects. My dad is not the type of person who can sit in a rocking chair or watch TV all day. My father is very active for someone his age even though he has the physical issues people get as they age, but he tries to stay busy because he says, “The older I get, the less I’m going to be able to do.” (Note: Mark’s father passed away suddenly three days before the release of this episode.)

Dave: Well, you just mapped out part of my teaching strategy. I love that your father has embraced this and is ahead of the curve again. Because one of the surprises that I try to work with people is to point out that as they develop their post-career lifestyle strategy, I ask the questions, once they get developed and start liking it, the couples get excited over what they’re developing. I come back and say, Why wait? What’s keeping you from starting now? Finances could be part of that, obviously. But are there elements of your plan that you have established that you can start implementing now? Because you’re right, we don’t know. Tomorrow or today could be our last day.

Mark: I plan on living to age 110. We have so much knowledge today to take better care of ourselves. We’re living longer. But you may not want to work past 65 or 70. Let’s say you live to 100. What are you going to do with those 30 years?

Dave: And that’s a great question everyone should ask themselves. 

In the United States, men and women included, the average lifespan today is about 78 years. However, if you live any type of healthy lifestyle, that can jump into the mid to late 80s very quickly. That aspect of taking care of yourself can add that much time. 

If you live, Mark, in your case, and I hope no one laughed when you said you wanted to live to 110 because I agree with you that our life expectancies are going to increase just between people being more aware of taking care of themselves with just the technology that’s out there. Plus, the amazing things that are going to be available to us. 

If you spend well over 30% of your life in retirement, or post-career, something where you have more flexibility than just having to work, what will that mean for your life, the things you can do? And so that’s where I try to encourage my clients to think differently on flexibility versus a hard stop that says, “On my 60th or 65th birthday, I’m out of here. I’m dropping the mic and going out the door walking into the sunset, while everyone cries that I’m leaving”. Most people aren’t going to get that. But then you have another 25 to 30% of your life to figure out. Why wouldn’t you plan for that?