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Rewirement Series Part II: What are the Benefits of Rewirement?

In the first part of our Rewirement Series: What is Rewirement, we discussed the mindset of the workforce over the last several decades and the arc of the Social Security system.  We also explored the need for work in our lives, the importance of lifelong learning, and our society’s need for contribution much longer than the traditional retirement age. 

We make the case for “Rewirement” and moving from the existing life model of: 

  1. Birth
  2. School
  3. Work
  4. Family

To a different mindset of growth, improvement, and re-wiring.  This life looks much more like:

  1. Birth
  2. School
  3. Deeper education or apprenticeship
  4. Work/Family
  5. Rewire/develop a new, relevant, and exciting skillset
  6. Work and more time for family, hobbies, and interests
  7. Rewire again/learn more/develop yet another or similar skillset
  8. Less Work and even more time for family, hobbies, and interests.
  9. Mentor/Consult/Scale back

In part II of our rewirement series, we’ll discuss some of the major benefits of rewirement rather than traditional retirement. Rewiring allows us the ability to shift from our norm, and create work and a lifestyle that is sustainable for a much longer period of time. This mindset also requires a different type of financial planning. The rewirement mindset doesn’t involve chasing a magic number and attaining a stopping point. Rather, rewiring involves planning for passive income streams, accumulating savings so that you can pause for personal development, and having a much longer vision of yourself being a part of the working society. This is a different mindset, and, at times, can be scary.  But, these are very exciting times to embrace and experience life more fully than we’ve ever had the opportunity to do so.

Benefits of Rewiring 

  • You get to be more properly educated 

    • This isn't to be confused with an Ivy League education, though that can be great too.  Rewiring allows you to seek out specific skill sets and to become educated and trained accordingly.  This is different from receiving a broad education, taking your diploma(s) and resume to job fairs for interviews, and feeling your way through a few entry-level jobs before getting serious. Rewiring asks you to focus, to think creatively about what society needs, educate/train accordingly, and find employers who feel the same way you do or, if possible, offer the service yourself.  Rewiring also asks you to be flexible and willing to change because consumer demands are changing and will continue to do so exponentially faster. Rewiring suggests you be willing to re-educate, continue to learn, and consider offering a different skill set than you were previously to the workforce. Because of this, rewiring means you will always be more appropriately educated for your work now.
  • You will be happier

    • The chief concern of the modern-day retiree is running out of money. Nearly half (49%) cite this well above their own health!  This is mostly a function of time. For decades, retiring has been a race/chase to a number that was large enough to quit.  Transitioning to a world where your outflow is suddenly far greater than income streams is daunting and the stats on retirement fears are understandable. The rewirement mindset keeps you prepared through education, nimble for change, and attractive in the workforce for a much longer period of time. This creates a lifestyle that is less stressful, and much healthier.  Rather than living life in a race against time and worrying about running out, you can expand your skill sets, diversify your income streams, maintain proper education, and have a longer more paced life. Yes, you might work longer, but it will likely be more on your schedule, the work will be relevant and fulfilling, and your lens on life will be of abundance, rather than scarcity and fear of running out.
  • Rising tides lift all ships 

    • There is also a societal benefit to this mindset shift. We’re shifting to a model that grants access to education and work opportunities that never existed before. The ability to stay educated and learn new skills has never been easier with concepts like Udemy, Khan Academy, or Lynda.com. Apprenticeships are on the rise – this is paid education with a purpose to apply a skill set. By the year 2020, the gig and freelance economy is expected to represent 43% of the workforce! Through companies like Uber, AirBnb, and Upwork, we have the ability to create other income streams for ourselves and re-wire/reinvest in ourselves as new needs arise in our world. This access to education and new kinds of work lifts us all up together and counters a society of hierarchy and people being left behind.

Two final notes:

  • Rewiring does not necessarily mean that you will have to abandon a career you love or where you’ve experienced success.  It simply means you’re open to change, and this likely might take place in your familiar career vein. For example, a veteran emergency room doctor might begin teaching classes to rising stars in emergency medical care on a part-time basis either virtually or at a local school.  Maybe a widow, who loves the home where she raised her family, considers renting out the extra space to travelers via Airbnb instead of downsizing. Or the successful tech start-up founder that’s sold their company can apply the trials and tribulations they’ve faced to a venture capital firm by consulting.  This keeps you relevant, fulfilled, and less dependent on market cycles. Rewirement may be a more subtle shift instead of a large pivot for you.
  • Rewiring requires creative planning but can be for anyone.  This post likely appeals to ages 30-50 (give or take a few years).  However, we are in an era of significant and fast change with a desperate need for leadership.  While very encouraging that some of today’s leaders of politics and industry are younger than ever, these young leaders need mentorship.  They need people who have been there, done that. Young people need elders willing to embrace youthful enthusiasm and fresh ideas, and also point to history where we’ve tried to have our cake and eat it too – points in history, that we, as imperfect humans, are plenty willing to repeat.  But, this requires a willingness to re-wire. Reach out to us if you’d like to learn more about planning for your rewirement

 

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This information has been obtained from sources deemed to be reliable but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Any opinions are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. Neither Raymond James Financial Services nor any Raymond James Financial Advisor renders advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues, these matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional. Investing involves risk, investors may incur a profit or loss regardless of the strategy or strategies employed. Retaining the services of a financial professional does not ensure a favorable outcome. Links are being provided for informational purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.

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Mitchell Custenborder, CFP®
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