By Ryan Ostry
Staff Reporter 

Expert talks about retirement, how to gauge readiness

Jim Flanagan stops by Plainfield Library to talk about book and his experiences with retirement


Last updated 10/16/2019 at 2:16pm

Ryan Ostry

Jim Flanagan talks about book and retirement at Plainfield Library.

The book "Packing For Retirement" by author James Flanagan was discussed, among gauging adults readiness for retirement at the Plainfield Library.

For more than 30 years, Flanagan has provided financial guidance to people who are at, or thinking about retirement.

A national recognized expert on financial issues, Flanagan said he wants those who were in attendance to understand that retirement is a journey.

"The book I wrote is basically a nuts and bold guide preparing for and self-assessing where you're at in your journey for retirement," Flanagan said. "My book isn't a champagne and sandy beach kind of book, the moral of the story is that retirement is a journey and it's a big deal that you have to prepare for."

Flanagan, who specializes in comprehensive fee-based planning for corporate executives, business owners and retirees, went through stages in order for the audience to become more educated about the process.

Three keys in order to have a successful retirement that Flanagan said is a must are healthy, wealth and a positive attitude that results in happiness.

A self-assessment of one's situation is something that is also vital to know when the perfect time is to retire, and getting up the proverbial mountain and back down safely is an expression he uses to illustrate the main points in the book.

With people working longer, job sharing and retirement lasting longer, Flanagan also said that there are 10 critical questions every retiree has to ask before they make the decision to retire.

"I think the 10 critical questions is one of the most important parts of the book," Flanagan said. "Before each person is ready to retire, these questions need to be asked in order to be happy and at ease for that part of your life."

Ryan Ostry

Professional visits Plainfield to offer advice.

How long do you expect to live, how long can or will you work, what kind of spender are you, where will you live, should you pay off your mortgage, what will you do in retirement, how much will Health Care and Long –Term Care cost, how will you handle social security, do you have philanthropic goals and can the person afford to retire are 10 questions that are imperative to ask yourself.

When the 10 steps were introduced, Flanagan had the audience fill out their own specific worksheet answering some of the questions of the self-assessment, and answering or asking questions they might have to conclude the seminar.

"The best advice I could give someone with my history of doing this work is don't be daunted by the planning process," Flanagan said. "Everybody can do something, and everybody can do something today which is the most important thing to remember."


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