Have a Happy Retirement

June 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Retirement. We spend years saving and planning for these happy years. But not all of us plan well for our retirements. Because we don’t plan how we’ll LIVE in retirement. What do I mean?

 Identity- What do we usually ask when we meet a kid? For me it’s, so what grade are you in? What subjects do you enjoy in school? Do you play a sport?

We humans initially understand a new friend by what they do, maybe by their hobbies and other activities. But when we retire our identify, usually so comprised of the tasks surrounding our job, no longer comes from our nine-to-five job. Psychologists have found that the more closely an individual identifies with their work role, the harder the transition into retirement can be.  Meaning that in retirement you could feel loss, depression, separation from friends, a whole host of things you may not have considered.

Transition- To ease the transition from work to retirement, start thinking about your future life. Several years prior to your scheduled retirement give serious thought to the dreams of what your ideal life in retirement would ‘look’ like. Have you longed to help kids, play your favorite sport or enjoy your favorite hobby? Imagine what a typical day after retirement would include. Really think about waking up, having your coffee, and then what next?

 Retirement can be like summer vacation when you were a student. The first few weeks with nothing to do are dreamy. But after a while, people with too much time on their hands and not much structure can get into mischief.  Your first few weeks or months of retirement may include sleeping or hanging out. But for many, your former work friends and the camaraderie of being part of a team working towards a united purpose was an enjoyable part of the job. But your work friends are still working.  Having something to look forward to, being poart of something gives purpose to life and shape to our days.

 Retirement ‘work’– Let’s say helping kids was a passion and that your dream job would be helping or mentoring kids. Look for ways to fulfill your dream as a volunteer. Can you imagine the joy of child care providers or schools in having someone available to assist them in a classroom with kids as a volunteer?

 Is it sports that ignites your spirit? Are there leagues available to you now that you have more free time? Is community service of interest to you? Consider joining the many area service groups such as Kiwanis, Friends of the Library or the hospital auxiliary. Having a place to be, ‘work’ to do – even if unpaid- and friends who share your passion, will give structure to your retirement and interest and fullness to your life.

We all know people who retired and then withered away because they were set adrift. Make a retirement plan that is more than just about income. Make a retirement plan that includes your heart.




The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment VII Expect the Unexpected

June 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

7.)  Expect the unexpected

 Things change. Be it bumps in the road with your plan. You’ve seen enough of life and had enough experience to realize that your very good plan of using this particular check go towards paying down the credit card may get sidelined. Maybe the car and the refrigerator break or your daughter needs special sports paraphernalia tomorrow and forgot to mention it.

 Eventually, if you persist in doing good, the money will go to pay down debt and you will have more money saved for retirement. Don’t be too quickly discouraged.

 Sometimes the fork in the road may be an entirely new road, a new way of thinking about mortgages or investments, as new instruments are developed. You don’t want to assume new things aren’t bad because they are ‘new fangled.’  Cars , computers and texting were new for someone.  Instruments you, or your parents, didn’t know about previously doesn’t automatically make them bad.

 Learn what you need to know, be open, concerning the new things so you can have options about different ways to save for retirement or get a mortgage.

 The lesson here? Be flexible and expect the unexpected.

The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment V

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

5.)  Don’t let others disrespect you – demand helpful advisors

 When you have an advisor you have a helper. My clients have ready access to all this information because I help them learn how to be in control of their money. From budgets to tougher emotional decisions, from names of great accountants to wonderful attorneys, whatever I can do is done for a bright and well-planned financial future.

 Do you know how many folks I work with who tell me that they have no idea what’s going on with their money because their present person doesn’t speak with language or they never see them.

 Don’t let advisors who are supposedly there to help, disrespect you instead. If you don’t know what the heck they are saying what are you doing business there? We are all different so there are CPAs, attorneys and financial advisors for every type of person. Advocate for yourself! Find the advisor that speaks to YOU! Insist on it!

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