No one plans to work forever. No matter how much we love what we do professionally we all dream of the day that we can start living a life of leisure and relaxation. How much money you have at the time of retirement is the biggest determining factor of one’s ability to stop working. The topic of retirement, specifically retirement income, has always been that 800 pound elephant in the room. Everyone knows it’s a subject that should be addressed, but most people ignore it or don’t know how to deal with it. For many the conversation is challenging because it involves both planning and an understanding of money. The planning process can be tedious because it requires time and strategic thinking. Effective planning mandates that you think about future needs and re-evaluate your plan periodically. Life’s fast pace and the unexpected challenges are not always conducive for strategic thinking time.
Conversations about money are always foreign in the beginning: The first time watching CNBC can leave you with the feeling that folks are speaking a different language. Lack of understanding breeds fear, and fear creates a barrier to understanding. Money is the key factor in the retirement equation. Money can be a phenomenal resource and can reduce the complexity of life if used properly.
Planning for your retirement starts with having the conversation. Begin to articulate what retirement looks like for you. Think about your retirement lifestyle and the income that you will need for that lifestyle. Evaluate how much money you are currently saving towards your retirement goal and be prepared to make adjustments if there is a shortfall. If you feel uncomfortable with the topic seek out a professional that can assist you with the process. Utilize their expertise and allow them to guide you in developing a retirement plan. Not having the retirement conversation is a form of neglect and that only leads to more damage. Eliminate the fear and gain understanding.