It’s Better to Prepare Than Repair

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Improving Your Life with The Money You Have.

 

According to Pew Research Center, in 1950, half the men over 65 remained in the workforce. By 2016 the number was less than 13 percent. This trend has led to boredom for many retirees as we have an entire system that’s all about pushing people to a number like 62 or 65. This just doesn’t make sense to me. Over the years, many people have shared with me that within weeks of retiring they became bored out of their minds and they began to miss some of the action and feeling of achievement their working years offered. How much golf can one truly play? I recently heard a recent retiree state: “I was aimless and didn’t know what to do.”  I believe when many unplug and go into retirement they begin to lack purpose.  Human beings must have something meaningful in their life.

For me — it’s about living life no matter what our age. What if you were to do something you love that can help people and do it as long as you can? The word retirement comes from the French word retirer, meaning to withdraw or to be put out of use. Who wants to be put out of use at any age? Today when people retire, their focus is not typically on the end. In fact, statistics show that many people will spend more than one third of their lives in retirement. So rather than viewing retirement as the withdrawal from work, it may be more accurate to see it as the beginning of a new, even better, life.

I have seen increasing numbers of individuals who are retiring for a period to catch their breath before making the transition to a new chapter in life. Some decide to start that small business they have always dreamed of. I met a couple who opened a coffee shop because they wanted to be of service to their community; in the process, they made new friends of those customers who visited daily. They launched their new business not because they needed the money, but because this would give them purpose and pleasure. Are they actually retired? Are their lives ending? They certainly don’t think so. The very concept of retirement is changing rapidly. It used to be that retirement was the end of something. Now, people are seeing retirement as the beginning of the second stage in their lives. People want to have a multidimensional, enjoyable life when they are 60, 70 and even 80 years old.

Over the years I have replaced the word retirement, in my practice, with the term financial independence. What does financial independence mean for you? Have you planned for it? It’s extremely important to get prepared for life’s inevitabilities. What is your story as it unfolds? What are the transitions ahead of you for the next 10-20 years?  Life transitions are often related to family, work, education, long-term care, life and death. Are you financially prepared for these transitions? If you’re not preparing — you’re probably going to be repairing in retirement and this can be avoided.

As you create your life/financial plan it’s important to understand that it’s not only about numbers but how the numbers affect your life. Does your cash flow align with your values?  Your money and your values should line up enabling you to use your money in ways to optimize your life. Am I really putting my money in the place where it will help me life the best life possible?

The new generation of aging boomers seems poised to swap that old dream of freedom from work for a new one built around the freedom to work. Home Depot and AARP recently announced a new partnership to recruit older workers for the home renovation giant. They are targeting retirees who couldn’t wait to hit the tool shed following a day on the job. The campaign steers them toward trading in retirement for a new vision of what work can be. The slogan: Passion never retires.

Graying also means playing for many of today’s retirees. Neither young nor old, they are finished with midlife, yet they can look forward to the likelihood of decades of vitality before becoming truly old. What might you rightly aspire to in the next phase? How will you define success in your years of financial independence? Unless you clearly spell that out, you may not get there. Since failure on this front is clearly not an option, plan appropriately so that you not only get a good ROR (Rate of Return) but a stellar ROL (Return on Life).

David Rosell is president of Rosell Wealth Management in Bend. www.RosellWealthManagement.com. He is the author of Failure is Not an Option- Creating Certainty in the Uncertainty of Retirement and Keep Climbing — A Millennial’s Guide to Financial Planning. Ask for David’s book at Newport Market, Sintra Restaurant, Bluebird Coffee Shop, Dudley’s Bookshop, Roundabout Books, Sunriver Resort, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

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