Ah, retirement. That peaceful time of porchsitting, hammock lying, and quiet dinners with long-time friends.It’s retirement and the livin’ is easy.

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Or is it?

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It certainly could be, but that doesn’t mean carefree equalswork-free. Those who work with retirees day in and day out knowthis. They also know what retirees need to do, sometimes even morethan what retirees know (see “The #1 Retirement Saving Goal for People are therealready retired and the Most Useful Strategy to Get There,”FiduciaryNews.com, July 5, 2017).

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Let’s think about this for a moment. You’ve just spent an entirecareer working nine-to-five. During those decades, you’ve dreamedof retirement, a retirement where you could while away the hoursslowly rocking to and fro on the porch swing, yelling at theneighborhood kids to get off your lawn, and even wondering why yourown kids never call.

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Related: 50 plus? Never say 'never' to retirementsaving

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Indeed, when the day comes for that inevitable luncheon withyour soon-to-be former co-workers and you leave your personal workstation for that final time, you feel as if you’re about to rideoff peacefully into a never-ending Hollywood sunset.

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Alas, as with all box office hits, great cinema only comes aboutbecause someone made the effort to write a great script. What’sthat you say? You say you’ve toiled away the hours on a job thatrequired pressing buttons and pulling levers, not writing moviedialog?

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Not to worry. But only if you’ve planned ahead.

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Related: Surprise -- you still need to pay taxes inretirement

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And planned ahead in a way the proverbial “they” don’t teach youat those typical annual (or worse, quarterly) retirement plan“enrollment” meetings most companies force you to attend.

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Fortunately, over the years these communal events have morphedfrom product “show and tells” to true (unbiased) educationalsessions. They’ve also transitioned from focusing on investments tofocusing on savings.

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Most retirement savers have been fed the basics when comes toinvestments, and they’ve been scolded into understanding simplesavings strategies. And for those who refuse to pay attention,we’ve got them covered with automatic enrollment, automaticescalation, and default investment options. As far as ERISA isconcerned, this touches all the fiduciary bases as far as plan sponsors are concerned.

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What I’m going to suggest right now is a new evolution (or, if Imay, given the American holiday we celebrate this week,“Revolution”). Leading-edge plan sponsors are already doing this.It’s time for the rest of the pack to catch up.

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While this goes over and above the fiduciary duty of a plansponsor, I believe it covers the last act every plan sponsor shouldundertake: faithfully handing off the fiduciary baton.

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This will give a fuller meaning to the term “retirement ready.”Many if not most retirement savers have relied on a fosteringpaternalism when it comes to managing their retirement planning andexecution. That would be their company. Think of it as how a youngassociate depends on a senior partner to both layout the businessesstrategy and oversees its execution in a way that insures thatstrategy gets carried out.

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What happens when that young associate breaks away to form hisown business? There’s no more senior partner to count on. If thisbudding entrepreneur is wise, he would have prepared prior toentering the start-up phase by assembling a team of advisors –legal, accounting, technical, marketing, etc… - to help guide himas he embarks on his own.

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This metaphor offers insight as to how plan sponsors ought tobegin designing the agenda for those retirement plan meetings.

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It may not seem like this might be relevant for 20 and30-year-olds, but it’s never too early to begin training employeeson how to treat retirement the way an entrepreneur treats a newbusiness.

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Once the education session gets beyond the usual savings andinvestment basics, it should begin to answer the question “I’veretired. Now what?” This section should take up more of the timeand get deeper into the answer as the employee audience getsolder.

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What is the most important part of the answer to “Now what?” Ithas to be assembling the team of professionals the retiree willrely on to help guide and monitor the retiree during the retirementyears.

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Typically, this group would include at least a tax professional,a member of the legal profession, a financial planner and aninvestment adviser (and possibly an insurance agent). There are anyvariety of ways, with different service levels and associated feelevels, the retiree can opt to pick this team. Some roles could beconsolidated to save money, but the ideal is to have a specialistin each area.

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No matter how this group is chosen, it’s important the retireeremember this: These are the people that the plan sponsor willultimately pass the fiduciary baton to.

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Note I call it a “fiduciary” baton. In the past, it was the plansponsor who monitored service providers and who was responsible forwhether they maintained a fiduciary disposition with regard toretirement plan assets. But once someone retires – even if assetsare left in the plan – the ultimate manager of these fiduciaries isthe retiree.

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That’s why people need to be more focused on “fiduciary” duringthe post-retirement phase of their lives.

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You can still take that slow ride on the porch swing, butyelling at those neighborhood kids will be more satisfying knowingyou’ve got a cabinet of advisors always (and solely) looking outfor your best interests.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).