Retirement Isn’t All Sunshine and Palm Trees (Part 2): Take a Ride on My Golf Cart

Reserved parking

This is part 2 of the series Retirement Isn’t All Sunshine and Palm Trees. If you missed part 1, check it out. My Motley Fool colleague Michele and I looked into why we were seeing high interest and low retention on our paid Social Security offering. We took the opportunity to study the retirement planning and transition as a whole and where Social Security fit within it.

So Wait, What Are We Doing Again?

Connecting with People

I was often amazed by how open our members were willing to be with us. Each of their stories included layers of fear, anxiety, and excitement about retirement and what that would mean for them. For many, work has been a major part of their self-image. Giving that up meant they’d need to redefine how they saw themselves and measured their self-worth. Layered on top of that is the prospect of cutting off their source of income and depending solely on savings for an indeterminate amount of time. I could start to see why it’s a complicated decision and why the regular, predictable checks from Social Security would be so appealing.

One member told me about his accident that lead to crippling injuries. While enduring years of pain, a dozen surgeries, and dodging financial catastrophes, he was able to invest a part of the small sums he received from Social Security and other insurance. Those investments have grown to a modest nest egg that gets him through the tough times. His definition of “retirement” was different from what we expected, and his story has stuck with me as a reminder of how quickly life can change and that we all need a little help sometimes.

Making Sense of It All

Our raw notes, sorted by block type

Wild, Unstructured Clustering

Sorting in action

While this lead to some themes, it didn’t feel like we were finished yet.

Theme clouds without post-its

Don’t Stop Believin’

Re-sorted post-its

Not trusting post-its on a wall, I dropped the quotes and notes into a google spreadsheet. I also liked having a record of how we got to where we were going.

Hold onto that feelin’

I’m the Map, I’m the Map, I’m the Map!

I’m the Map!

Journey maps are only the beginning of the journey (see what I did there?!). The insights they communicate are only as useful as the impact they have on your products and business. What we discovered has helped us create a new product, kick off incremental improvement experiments, and inspired future efforts we plan to spin up. Curious? Check out what we did to put our insights to work (Part 3), and the results of those efforts (Part 4).

Product Experience Team Lead and Designer | Mission Driven, User-Focused

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