10 elements of retirement success

In retirement, there isn’t really a standard for success. Retirement is just life.

But what if you could measure your retirement life in the areas that matter most? Would it be worthwhile to provide structure to your annual and long-term life goals in retirement? At CI Private Wealth, we have identified the 10 elements of retirement (in no particular order):

  1. Work
  2. Health
  3. Family
  4. Home
  5. Growth
  6. Leisure
  7. Social
  8. Giving
  9. Money
  10. Aging

Consider that it’s not realistic to compartmentalize life into perfectly defined elements. Life is more of a tapestry or a cocktail of these put together where each element can positively or negatively impact the others. For example, with health and work, health is a major cause of early retirement and of being unproductive at work, but the stress of work can also lead to health issues. When in balance, however, they can enhance life in retirement as well as other elements.

The two sides of money

It's also important to remember that every single element is also impacted by the two sides of money: the technical and the personal. The technical is the math and strategy of money—what you have, what it costs, how we utilize it and more, while the personal is your emotions, your philosophy, and your personal biases.

  • For example, there are technical benefits to giving: tax deductions, estate planning, and more. And on the personal side there is how you feel when you help others, your personal connection to a charity, the family legacy, etc.

We analyze through the technical, but our decisions are processed through the personal. Coming back to the elements, an issue with balance can cause both technical (dollars and cents) and personal (identity, motivation, happiness) issues during your retirement life.

Get started

Here are three steps you can take right now:

  1. Identify the 3 elements that you would like to focus on this year
  2. Answer the following three questions for each element: 
    • What would success look like at the end of the year?
    • What hurdles will keep you from success?
    • How can your wealth be used to help/enhance this element?
  3. Let us know how we can help!


Brightworth is a nationally recognized, fee-only wealth management firm with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC. The wealth advisors at Brightworth have deep expertise across the financial disciplines, allowing us to provide ongoing, comprehensive financial advice to families across the country.


This information is for educational purposes and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax, insurance, or investment advice. This does not constitute an offer to provide any services, nor a solicitation to purchase securities. The contents are not intended to be advice tailored to any particular person or situation. We believe the information provided is accurate and reliable, but do not warrant it as to completeness or accuracy. This information may include opinions or forecasts, including investment strategies and economic and market conditions; however, there is no guarantee that such opinions or forecasts will prove to be correct, and they also may change without notice. We encourage you to speak with a qualified professional regarding your scenario and the then-current applicable laws and rules.

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