Using the PIP analysis to help plan your retirement

Senior couple relaxing in camping folding chairs, sea landscape

Image: Goodluz/

Not sure how to begin to plan for what you’ll do in your retirement? Here’s a simple way to begin—do a PIP analysis.


Ask yourself one question: What is my passion? Some will find that question difficult to answer. Others will find it difficult to keep it to one passion. That’s OK.

A passion can be described as a ‘strong emotion of desire’. But it’s more. It’s something that drives you.

Brenda Palmer is a good illustration of a woman with a passion. You’ll find her featured in my book Refusing to Retire. She has worked for 50 years at a Coles supermarket. She’s 85 years of age.

That has nothing to do with her passion. Her passion is the Richmond Football Club (Australian Football League). She attends every match in Melbourne and as many interstate as she can. More than this, she’s at their grounds every Wednesday for their mid-week run through.

Her passion for her club makes her do those kinds of things. A passion can be for a club, or a venture, or a cause to change the world in some way.

The movie National Treasure provides another definition for passion when Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) says to Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), ‘We don’t need someone crazy. But one step short of crazy, what do you get?’

Riley: ‘Obsessed.’

Gates: ‘Passionate.’

There’s a truth that some passions seem—especially to those who don’t understand—one step short of crazy. And that’s OK, too.

What is it that drives you? To do what? And how can you follow it or develop it further in your retirement?


No definition needed here. What are your interests? It could be a hobby, it could be working in the garden, or it could be caravanning. For some, it could be all three of those—or none of them.

The list is as long as your personal interests. Retirement gives you the time and opportunity to work on your interests and develop them further.

It’s worth listing your interests to imagine how they could fit together. For instance, a caravaner/gardener from the southern states of Australia may plan to dust off the caravan and travel north for the winter months when the garden is dormant.


Finally, what are your priorities in retirement? This is asking what is important to you in your retirement. And it could range from such things as independence; personal health; giving back to the community; family; self-improvement and so on.

Having worked out your priorities, the next step is to plan how you will make them happen. For instance, if self-improvement is your goal, identify what you mean by that (maybe it’s learning a language; joining a club; studying at university) and how you can achieve this as a goal.

If keeping good health is a priority, work out a plan to make that happen. Does this mean a change in eating patterns? Does it involve a regular exercise program? A more balanced life? Working out the practical steps allows you to make it a part of your retirement plan.

Obviously, some priorities need working on before retirement.

If you’re a couple

If you and your partner are retiring together it would be helpful for you to both do the PIP analysis and then compare notes. This is important because it will help you understand what your partner is thinking.

There will be some things you will want to do together, but other things you will do separately. What this process does is help you to understand each other’s thinking.

If you aren’t planning to retire together (which is not unusual), it’s also a good idea to share your PIP analysis so he/she will have some idea of what you’re planning. Your partner’s support will help you achieve your retirement plan.

Bruce Manners: the author of Retirement Ready?, Refusing to Retire, and founder of


Category: Planning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Retire Notes