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Go-Go, Slow-Go, and No-Go: The Three Phases of Retirement Thumbnail

Go-Go, Slow-Go, and No-Go: The Three Phases of Retirement

Insights Retirement Planning Financial Planning

You can look at retirement in three phases:  the go-go years, the slow-go years, and the no-go years.  Nobody knows exactly how long each of those will last, but when we start to think in those terms, it can change how you approach planning for that next chapter of your life.  

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Go-Go, Slow-Go, and No-Go:  What do we mean?

You can think of your retirement in three phases.  

The Go-Go Years:   This is normally in the early part of your retirement.  Your health is still good, and you still have the physical ability to do things.  You may enjoy traveling, gardening, or golf.   Your mind and body will still let you pursue those hobbies.

The Slow-Go Years:   As we age, our bodies and our minds slow down.  We might still be active and try to enjoy our hobbies and interests, but we may not be able to continue the pace.

The No-Go Years:   This is when we reach a point when our bodies and minds slow, and we find it very difficult to do many of those same things.  Our spending habits can shift if not decrease.

How Does This Impact How You Plan?

 Thinking of retirement can impact how you plan to spend.  If you feel you will be doing more of those things early on in retirement, considering a tiered spending plan may be useful.  And this can all look good on paper.

 But you must keep the big picture in mind.  Many retirees do see their spending go down as they get older.  But others may spend just as much or more in totally different ways.

The mental impact of a tiered approach…

 The go-go retirement years give us all something exciting to pursue.  It can motivate us to do better planning.  It has a positive and optimistic feel, which makes giving up some of the short-term gratification more tolerable.  

Minimizing Regrets

 We have seen plenty of people who have the resources not enjoy the experiences or things they could have.  Planning the right way can help you avoid the “wish I woulda” syndrome when our minds and bodies slow.  

 Looking through the longer-term lenses, can help to eliminate the fears and anxieties associated with running out of money.  

Balance is Key 

You can overspend in any phase of your retirement.  If you do, there is a lot of stress placed on your resources.  Nobody wants to see their account values go to zero before their blood pressure does.   Here are some tips. 

  • Balance the idea of doing more early on with the impact it has on your later years.
  • Be flexible.   If you experience a great year, splurge a little.  If you see a bad year, be willing to cut back or delay.
  • Continuously monitor your progress and adjust when necessary.

The Details Matter

On the surface, the world of personal finance seems very simple.  But when you begin to peel the many layers back, you’ll find it is far more complex.  We can help.  You can talk to an advisor near you.   Fill out the form below. 



Appearing in this video…


Nikki Lude, CFP®

Nikki is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional in Woodsfield, Ohio

Tyler Szafran, CRPC®

Tyler is a financial advisor in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Neal Watson, CFP®

Neal is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional in Marietta, Ohio.