Everyday, I sit down with people from all financial situations and all walks of life to help them figure out their retirement plan. That question I get most often in these meetings is: When Can I Actually Retire?
Most of the clients who come into our firm are in their 60’s. They’ve earned a good salary their whole lives. They’ve worked for decades. But they know that once they leave their jobs they would no longer have access to their salary. The idea of missing out on that steady paycheck gives people so much anxiety that they end up staying at their job much longer than they need to.
How do you know when you’re ready to retire? It depends on what retirement means to you.
My dad is a pastor. He’s told me since I was a kid that he would never retire. He loves his job and feels that it’s his calling to do his work for the rest of his life. He’d never dream of retirement th way many people do.
Other people dream of having enough money to travel and pursue their passions.
Still others want to do nothing after retirement. They want to have the financial freedom to stay home and relax in a way they’ve never been able to before.
It all comes down to a quality of life issue.
Most people have a huge amount of anxiety about their future and it keeps them away from retirement. This anxiety matters and it is important to me that I figure out how to work my clients through it.
Recently I had a couple come into my office, Joe and Amy. They had been working and dreaming of retiring in their mid-60’s, but were already approaching their 70’s. When I asked Joe and Amy why they were still working they said they just weren’t confident they’d be safe financially.
Part of Joe and Amy’s problem is that they were comparing their financial situation and their idea of retirement to all of their friends and neighbors. One of their friends told them they participated in a dividend income strategy, which is when a company pays you a dividend for investing with them. For some people that’s great income and it’s not a bad retirement strategy at all.
I had to explain that they didn’t actually have an income issue at all. The real issue was with growth and a dividend wouldn’t be helpful to them.
We were able to sit down, look at their entire financial world, what level of risk they were taking and what some good opportunities for them may be. We created a grid that showed them how much they would have if they retired tomorrow or next week or next year. Our software builds in worst case scenarios into retirement plans, so you can feel confident no matter what the future holds.
It’s so important that people have this holistic plan for retirement. It’s great that you have money saved, but that's only really value if you don’t feel stress and anxiety about your future.
Comprehensive plans give you the freedom to live out your life the way you want. It makes you confident that you’re going to be okay, even if the worst happens.
That’s why our firm is called More Than Money.
If you want to have this confidence and peace of mind about retirement, sign up for a free consultation. I’ll sit down with you and walk you through the entire process.
We can create models to help you think through these difficult what-if scenarios and give you all the information you need to feel ready and at peace with your financial decision.
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