Retirement PORN! Did I get your attention?
Retirement pornography was the focus of an interview I had with Rob Carrick for their very popular Let’s Talk Investing videos. Just the phrase seems to get people’s attention.
Here’s an excerpt from the book I co-authored with my colleagues Rein Selles and Tricia French, 10 Things I wish someone told me about retirement:
Quite often when I ask people what they want to do when they retire, there are some responses that come about frequently like ‘travel’. When people think about what retirement looks like, visions of lying on a beach reading a book and drinking sangrias may come to mind. Or, maybe there are visions of golfing during a sunny blue-sky day with white sands and immaculate greens. This is what I call, “retirement pornography”. In other words, it is the kind of retirement that society says you should have to be successful. I think the roots for this type of thinking started out of one of the most successful advertising campaigns in the financial industry called ʻFreedom 55’.
Retirement doesn’t have to be sexy. In fact, most successful retirees will tell you retirement is about doing what you want to do. Although we may think we want to travel a lot in retirement, very few people can travel 365 days of the year or even 90 days of the year. Most traveling in retirement is limited to less and its not usually to exotic places all of the time.
Three forms of financial pornography
It may be hard to believe but “sex sells”. Maybe not so much in the financial industry but there is a different kind of pornography raging. There are three types of Financial pornography . . . companies that sell investments use past performance; companies that sell financial products sell the dream of getting rich as fast as possible; and companies that sell retirement products sell the stereotypical retirement dream. For more information, check out one of my old posts which I recently updated “Don’t get lured by financial pornography”