Today, let’s talk about what I think is the formula for retirement success.
I wrote an article a couple of months ago about the benefit of making small, incremental moves toward your financial goals.
And a couple of years ago, I wrote this article about your “financial comfort zone.”
In the comfort zone article, I touched on the idea of both “Ideal” and “Acceptable” goals.
In an ideal world, you’ll have a wide range or gap between what you consider Ideal and what you consider Acceptable.
But in my work with clients, I often find it challenging to get folks to really dream big about their Ideal, best life goals.
These are aspirational or “stretch” goals and don’t have to be completely rooted in reality.
But, they’re important.
Because after a year like 2019 when the markets were largely positive and lifted your portfolio, it’s good to have some pre-defined Ideal goals to adjust your plan towards. If you’re able to.
And eventually, when (not if) the market goes down, the Acceptable goals give us – once again – some pre-defined goals we can adjust toward.
I can share more on the importance of Ideal and Acceptable goals in the future if you’re interested. Just let me know.
But in simple terms, here’s the formula for retirement success, in my humble opinion:
Have BIG goals, and make small, incremental, consistent steps toward them.
Your financial and retirement planning journey will not unfold in a straight line.
There will be detours and adjustments that need to be made along the way.
But having BIG personal goals . . . goals that are important to you . . . goals that motivate you . . . that’s what gives your retirement plan meaning. And that’s what can help you focus on the big picture despite all the daily distractions from the media.
And if it’s not already obvious from my thoughts above, when you’re the one setting your BIG goals, you’re also the one defining your own personal version of retirement success.
For some, that might mean you continue to work. Or it may mean that you retire in the traditional sense to pursue work (or something else) that’s more fulfilling to you than your current full-time career.
This can help you avoid the danger of attempting to compare yourself to others as you work on your own retirement planning.
But ultimately, I think it’s that simple. At least at a high level.
Set BIG goals that mean something to you and then take small, consistent steps toward them fully acknowledging that you’ll have to make some changes and adjustments along the way.
It’s these changes and adjustments that are really what financial planning is all about anyway.
But I’m curious to know what you think.
Do you agree that it’s really this simple? Get in touch and let me know.
P.S. – Despite the 24-hour news cycle reminding us of all the evils in the world, it’s important not to lose sight of what a great time it is to be alive.
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