Planning for Retirement is About More Than Money

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“The best time to plant an oak tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time to plant is today.” That’s a phrase often used to describe planning for retirement, and it’s 100% correct. Yet there is so much going on in peoples’ lives that keep them from jumping on the opportunity to begin the planning.

Some people will say, “I’ll just wait until everything settles down.” Unfortunately, things never really settle down, which means waiting out a busy season of life for what you think might be a couple of months stretches out into 10 years. Plant the oak tree now.

Retirement Length

If you’ve ever planned a vacation, you know that arranging your finances is part of that planning. If it’s a week long, you make arrangements for how much you can spend in that week. You’ll book a hotel that fits your preference for accommodations as well as your budget. You’ll make plans to eat at restaurants that fit your sense of taste as well as your budget. With retirement planning, you have to put the same amount of thought, in some respects, into 10 or 20 years, perhaps even longer.

People often think about retirement as a date – the day they turn 65. Dan Danford, CEO of Family Investment Center, said in a recent podcast that most people live longer in retirement than they expected to, and that to successfully approach this part of life takes a lot of forethought.

“You have to think about things in terms of retirement span,” he said, “instead of retirement date. It’s common to experience a 30-year span of retirement years.”

Changing Life Priorities

Retirement doesn’t always mean you have to stop working. In fact, some people will work more, but toward goals that motivate them and feed their passions. For example, Danford knows a person who volunteered at an animal shelter, but he looked forward to retirement so that he could spend much more time at the shelter working with animals.

“Sometimes it puts money in your pocket,” Danford said. “Sometimes it doesn’t ... there is a lot more discussion about living a purposeful life – there is more focus on that today than ever before.”

Knowing where you stand financially can help you move in the right direction toward a purposeful life in retirement, and that can help you make sacrifices today for a more fulfilling life.

At Family Investment Center, we help our clients with their path to their passions. If you’re seeking meaning in your life beyond your career, having sound financial footing makes it much easier. Talk to us today about your life goals and let’s make steps together toward a solid strategy to get you there.


Let’s plan for some serious freedom.

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