An article in June 2016’s issue of the Harvard Business Review, Next-Gen Retirement, draws on in-depth interviews with 100 US executives and managers to reflect on how individuals are approaching 21st century retirement.

Reporting that they “found much more variation in these opinions and experiences than traditional theories and cliches had led us to expect”, the authors* extrapolate “four guiding principles that should help people of any generation navigate their late career journeys: Prepare to go off-script; find your own retirement metaphor; create a new deal; and make a difference.”

While lawyers weren’t directly interviewed, and the article looks at the US experience, a number of their findings should resonate with the UK legal profession, not least that the careers of those interviewed “ended in many ways, often on unpredictable timetables” and “few of us will have complete control over when and how our careers end.”

The article makes clear

Retirement is not an end but a beginning – an opportunity to experiment and explore, to engage in pursuits you value, and perhaps to reinvent your legacy.

Given this, preparation for retirement is essential: to understand what it may mean to you, to think about what you may need; and to plan how you might navigate it.

* Heather C. Bough, Christine D. Bataille, Leisa Sargent, and Mary Dean Lee


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