The Most Overlooked Flaw in your Retirement Plan and How to Fix it

by Adam Felts

Writing in Forbes, AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin discusses the importance of storytelling as a tool to develop ideas for how we will live in retirement:

For many, if not most of us, life outcomes are often the product of stories that we subscribe to and plan around. Not tales of fiction, but larger social narratives that guide us and tell us what is important. Stories are taught to us by observing the lives of others and reinforced by schools, employers, government policy, movies, advertisers, and even retailers. Together these people and institutions cue us when and how to get a job, find a partner, purchase an eight-piece dish set, have children, buy a home, and retire.

However, the story of what to do in retirement is less clear. Our parents provide a poor example because the context of their older adulthood is different than the realities of tomorrow’s retirement. Moreover, unlike previous life stages, there are far fewer stories to guide us in retirement.

Dr. Coughlin also describes steps we can take to develop our own retirement stories. Read more here.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. He conducts research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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