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Retirement Advice for Michael Scott of “The Office”

Imagine this: What if Michael Scott did not leave Dunder Mifflin to move to Colorado with Holly? What if he retired from Dunder Mifflin instead? What advice would be helpful to Michael as he prepares to retire as the world’s best boss?

Understand your living expenses.

Michael needs to know what he spends on everything from getting his jeans dry cleaned to buying a new plasma tv.  It may be helpful to gently remind Michael of the pain he endured from having to say, “I declare bankruptcy,” after trading in his car for a Porsche and going over budget on condo renovations. Michael could use a tool like Mint, YNAB.com, a spreadsheet, or even paper and pen, to track his spending. As he looks through his expenses, he could ask, “Is my spending in line with my values?” and then look for ways to re-direct his spending to match those values. Perhaps Michael would decide to spend less at Benihana’s and spend more on the Secret Santa gift exchange.

Understand how much risk you are taking in your investment accounts.

Is your company 401k invested 100% in Dunder Mifflin stock? If so, it is past time to diversify! Michael’s understanding of his stocks and bonds across all accounts, including IRAs, Roth IRAs, and joint investment accounts with Holly, is essential. He may be taking more risk than he thinks and could be in for a rude awakening when the stock market drops. A financial plan can help assess how much risk Michael needs in order to accomplish his financial goals. This plan information, along with Michael’s feedback on the amount of risk he is comfortable taking, will guide how much should be invested in stocks and how much should be invested in bonds.

Invest in your health.

Get enough sleep, eat more fruits and vegetables, and exercise regularly. Michael wants to be physically healthy, so he and Holly can have an active retirement and travel to Niagara Falls. Good health may reduce medical spending later in life as well. The average 65-year-old man will spend roughly $190,000 on healthcare expenses in retirement, while the average 65-year old woman will spend about $215,000 on medical expenses in retirement. 1 Michael should also keep in mind that he will enroll in Medicare Part A and B at 65 but will need to research which Medicare supplement plan and prescription drug plan best suits his needs. The plan most appropriate for Stanley’s heart condition, or Creed’s prior drug use, may not be the best plan for Michael.

Have a purpose in retirement.

Michael should not retire just to get away from Toby! What will Michael do now that he is no longer the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch? Days in retirement should be filled with more than playing basketball and ice hockey. Are there community groups where Michael can put his love for making friends work for the greater good? Or charities, like Scott’s Tots, where Michael can help make dreams come true? Or clubs that could benefit from his song parodies?

It is important for Michael Scott, or anyone, to consider both the financial and non-financial aspects of a significant life transition like retirement. Do not just focus on your departure date and ignore what life will be like in the days and weeks that follow. Holly may remind Michael that she married him for life, not for lunch!

If you want help finding peace of mind on your path to retirement, contact a Bridgeworth advisor. We are happy to work with you to create a customized plan to help you retire with confidence and purpose.


  1. https://money.cnn.com/2018/04/03/retirement/healthcare-in-retirement/index.html