A World of Possibilities
Retirement is a time of tremendous opportunity. After working decades, you’ve earned the right to enjoy the hard-earned wealth you’ve built over the years. For many of you reading this, that involves doing the things you’ve always dreamed of, but due to limited time and money, have never had the opportunity to experience. However, for others of you who aren’t so fortunate, a lack of planning has greatly impacted the types of freedoms you’ll be able to enjoy in retirement.
It’s Never Too Late
It’s important not to be concerned with time you may have already let slip by but rather focus on the time you have left and the opportunity that exists to leverage that time by implementing a plan. Best-selling author Alan Lakein has described planning as “bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” By making a commitment to begin dreaming big, taking an inventory of your current assets, and determining what you’ll need to achieve your big dream, you’re much more likely to turn your retirement dream into a reality instead of merely participating in some wishful thinking.
The value of acquiring the help of a financial advisor is that he or she can sit down with you and ask questions most people aren’t prone to asking themselves in their busy, everyday lives. For example, what are your short term goals? What are your long term goals? What is your retirement dream? Some clients may naturally have to go home and consider these questions more deeply before the next visit, but it’s the process of getting started that’s important. At Lane Financial Strategies, we’ve even built a website to help clients develop their big dream: www.bigretirementdream.com.
The next area of focus that clients have found to be quite valuable is having an inventory of assets. Surprising as it may sound, most people don’t know how much they have in assets and where it resides. While they may have an idea, gathering this information will provide the detail necessary for a financial advisor to begin building your financial plan, doing all the hard math, weighing that math against your goals, and making recommendations based on what has been learned.
When Tragedy Strikes
It’s understood that “life happens” and not everyone is able to create a financial plan during the most ideal of times. In some cases, difficulty or even tragedy prompts renewed attention to one’s finances and resulting retirement. Perhaps a loved one has sadly passed on, or an unexpected career change has become an unanticipated new focus in one’s life. It’s important not to put financial planning off any longer than necessary as the sooner a difficult life event is dealt with, the less time you have for your plan to reach its desired potential. Meanwhile, those who have a plan already in place should be able to recover from financial adversity much more easily.
A Dream Turned Reality
Aside from the most difficult of circumstances, the financial planning process really is a beautiful thing to experience. Clients find themselves seriously considering options they never thought about until being prompted, whereas prior to planning, their thoughts were a distant hope. British actress Anna Neagle couldn’t have said it better when stating “The delights of solitude don't only consist of dreaming. Next in enjoyment, I think, comes planning.” Once you have a plan on paper that provides a practical means of achieving your retirement dreams, you can live a fuller life with lots to anticipate.