Veteran Retirement Experts at Stearns Financial Group Offer Insights on Mars and Venus of Retirement

New insights provide a roadmap for navigating relationship issues and aging realities

RALEIGH, N.C. - March 29, 2019 - (

Divorce over the age of 50 is growing at double the general divorce rate in the U.S. But “gray divorce” is just one of the retirement issues that the aging U.S. population might face. The current generation of retirees, unlike those of the past, need to think about a longer, healthier fourth quarter of life, requiring a focus on much more than just financial aspects. According to Dennis Stearns, author of 4th Quarter Fumbles: How Successful People Avoid Critical Mistakes Later in Life, a key question to consider in the fourth quarter of life is “what makes you get out of bed in the morning?”

“People spend more time planning a two-week vacation than they do planning what could be a 30-year retirement,” says Stearns. “As a financial advisor, I know that people need to be concerned about their retirement finances, but what many don’t realize is the importance of thriving rather than simply surviving. Getting things right in the early ‘go-go years’ of retirement sets you up for success later in the ‘slow-go’ years.”


Stearns and his colleague Haleh Moddasser, author of Gray Divorce, Silver Linings: A Woman's Guide to Divorce After 50, offer a rare appreciation for the non-financial elements of a successful retirement as experienced through the vastly differing lenses of men and women. The two recently spoke at The Advisor Thought Leader Summit, held at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center, on the topic. They presented a case study of a newly retired couple “gone wrong.”

One common mishap after another ultimately resulted in an end to the relationship, an example of gray divorce, a specialty area of Moddasser’s. This thought-provoking, 15-minute video on Avoiding Mars and Venus Issues in Retirement Years could change the trajectory of the viewer’s life.

“This is the first generation of retirees facing longer retirements that require careful thinking and planning to meet their hopes and expectations,” cautions Stearns. In his 4th Quarter Fumbles book, Stearns focuses on helping people address the big potential fourth-quarter fumbles and how to avoid them, or at least minimize the damage and bounce back.

In conversations with clients, the professionals at Stearns Financial Group emphasize that “the why” (purpose in retirement), “the where” (living situation) and “the who” (the people you surround yourself with) are as important as the “how much” (the bucket of money needed to live well).

There are nine key dangers which hinge on the following goals:

  1. Making Better Decisions
  2. Having a Good Transition Plan
  3. Creating a Balanced Financial and Investment Strategy
  4. Having a Good Reason to Get Out of Bed
  5. Wellness vs. the Absence of Illness
  6. Social Networks and How They Rule Even in the Fourth Quarter
  7. Communication’s Vital Role
  8. Thoughtful Estate Planning
  9. Getting Your Living Options Right

“Visualizing what success looks like is challenging without some help from friends, life coaches or professional advisors trained to consider next-chapter-of-life issues. At Stearns Financial Group, our professional advice is an outgrowth of many years helping people plan for the fourth quarter of their lives, both financially and personally.”

A free interactive assessment, available at, provides a Fumbleocity™ score with customized ideas on how to avoid retirement fumbles.


Dennis Stearns, CFP®, ChFC, is the founder of Stearns Financial Group, a fee-only wealth management firm with offices in Chapel Hill and Greensboro, North Carolina. Stearns is a nationally recognized expert on financial planning and the effect of Super Trends on clients’ investments, careers and the economy. He is the author of several books and is regularly quoted in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Kiplinger Finance, Financial Planning magazine and the Journal of Financial Planning. The Financial Planning Association calls Stearns “one of the leading futurists and scenario experts in the financial industry.” 

Haleh Moddasser, CPA, is a senior vice president and partner at the firm. She has extensive experience in the area of women and finance, helping women navigate divorce with the goal of achieving financial security. She has published widely on the topic of women and financial independence and has been quoted in national publications such as Kiplinger’s, Investor’s Business Daily, Reuters and AARP Magazine.

Both Stearns and Moddasser are available for speaking engagements and media interviews. For more information or to request a confidential conversation with either of them, visit


4th Quarter Fumbles: How Successful People Avoid Critical Mistakes Later in Life highlights 25 key fumbles that have the greatest chance of ruining the last quarter of life. Readers who get ahead of these fumbles and take proactive action should live a longer, happier and healthier fourth quarter of life.

Gray Divorce, Silver Linings: A Woman's Guide to Divorce After 50 highlights the causes and long-term financial implications for women experiencing this difficult transition while also providing a step-by-step guide on rebuilding a new life. Divorce over the age of 50 is growing at double the general divorce rate in the US. Purchase this book for personal use or give a copy to a friend who may be considering a marital divide.

Jessica Shores
Impact Communications Inc.

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Original Source: Veteran Retirement Experts at Stearns Financial Group Offer Insights on Mars and Venus of Retirement
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