Retirement: Live by Design and not by Default

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animated magician with life tips, plan, profit, team, strategy, work, business, achievement, growth, happy, success, magicianThe best way to become financially secure is to not only seek professional advice but to also act on it when you receive it. It is hard when we put our money into intangible things because we do not have the pleasure of enjoying it right at this moment. You have to realize though that the decisions you make today will have an impact on your future. That is what I have to remind myself every day, especially as a 23 year old. Right now I am at the age where I just want to  splurge on vacation trips, new clothes, expensive new technology, etc. Fortunately, I have disciplined myself to set aside what I need for future purposes first, before I spend money on what I want.

Remember: The earlier you start planning, the more control you will have at deciding what your retirement will look like.

Even though I am nowhere near retirement and I am not married and I don’t have any kids, I know one day I will be. I do not have as many obligations as other people do. That is why I stress to many young people in my age group that it is very important that we start saving for these things because by the time we have a family and other obligations, we would have already created a habit of putting money aside for our retirement and future needs. Even though it is not impossible, it is definitely much harder to set aside the right amount of money towards retirement since you already have many other bills to worry about. It will be more complicated to budget for retirement at that point. That is why we see many people in their 40s and 50s struggle to retire at the age they initially wanted to retire at. They did not plan their financial goals early enough and therefore they must work longer just to maintain their same lifestyle.

Remember: Know what you want and why you want it.

There is no such thing as a one size fits all solution that financial professionals hand out to their clients. It is all based on what YOUR needs and wants are. We get to help you implement plans that will help you achieve those goals. So in order to best serve clients, it is especially important that you know what your goals are. Create your Master Action Plan that I talked about in one of my first blogs. Write down what you want to achieve this year. Set aggressive and meaningful goals and define WHY it is important that you accomplish them.

Also, remember that sacrifices are involved. Since we put away money into intangible products, we do not get to enjoy the benefits of them just yet. You may have to limit yourself on going out to those fancy dinners every weekend so that you can pay your monthly premiums. Think of those premiums as just another bill. We pay for car insurance, health insurance, cell phone bills, etc. every month and now it is just part of our monthly payments that we know we have to take care of. Wouldn’t it be in your best interest to put “saving for retirement” as part of those monthly payments you would make as a way to save money for yourself? So, just manage your mindset for retirement and you’ll always be able to figure out a way to endure those sacrifices.

Remember: Successful people do what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.

If you want to live an extraordinary life, don’t settle for what’s comfortable. Live by design and not default. I’m currently reading a book by John Maxwell titled The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and there is a story in there about a lady who lived in a very small, run-down apartment her many years. She lived primarily on social security and a small monthly pension after she had retired. She never spent money on herself and was very thrifty. When she had finally passed away, one of the universities in New York had received news that this lady who never even attended at that specific college had left her estate of $22 million to them. What she did was spend most of her life building her wealth. She had invested in stocks many years ago and just let that stock grow through the market’s ups and downs. Most people would have sold their shares when they thought it was at its highest peak and reap the profits, but not her. She knew that success wouldn’t have been built in a short-period of time. “While other older people worry that they may run out of funds before the end of their lives, the longer she lived, the wealthier she became.”

As the month of June comes to an end, I want to thank all of my readers for being proactive with their summers and learning about finances. It’s been such a pleasure writing blogs for you all this month and I will be sure to keep in touch!