Staying Retired and Loving Every Minute Of It
Young people just don’t get it. They think saving for their retirement is so hard and that when they finally reach the big day, all of their labor and sacrifice will be rewarded with worry-free living. But, what every retired person knows all too well is that in the real world retirement is a lot like playing “king of the mountain.” Getting to the top and becoming “king” seems like the hard part until you reach it; then you realize that the GETTING there was easy- it’s the STAYING there that’s the real challenge. Of course, once we retire we want to stay that way, but at what price?
Let’s face it – LIFE only happens once. As one of my clients says, “this is not a dress rehearsal.” Instinctively, I believe we all are driven to make the most of this one opportunity. As human beings, this means that we want to be happy. But what is happiness? Does happiness equal having money? Sure, having money is helpful, but we all know plenty of rich people who are miserable and very unhappy.
As you might have guessed, happiness goes much deeper than having material things. Centuries of studying humanity has taught us that genuine happiness exists only when your life is in line with your purpose, your passions, and your personal strengths. Now, I’m no Ph.D., but it makes sense to me. Who could possibly be happy if they don’t know their purpose in life? And who could know true joy if their days are filled with doing things for which they have no passion? Or how could you ever be really happy doing things that you are not good at doing? These are the three P’s of genuinely contented people.
Happiness comes in as many different flavors as there are different people. For example, while I’m not so sure about her having found her purpose, my daughter is very passionate about horse riding and has found it to be one of her personal strengths. I can’t explain it, but horses make her happy. Conversely, horses scare me and elicit several emotions other than happiness. Happiness is something personal and therefore it is unique to each of us. Nevertheless, we can accurately generalize that happiness for each of us is having comfort and confidence without compromise. Comfort is that inner sense of peace, that psychological security for which we all seek. Confidence is the assurance that our comfort is real and more importantly, that it is secure. And being greedy Americans, we want complete comfort and confidence WITHOUT compromise. In retirement, compromises take the form of having to go back to work, cutting back on your living expenses, taking on additional risks in your portfolio, etc. Just the sound of those three words makes me happier. Comfort and confidence without compromise -As you might have guessed, I call these the three C’s. I know you are amazed at my creativity.
O.K., so let’s build on this. We all agree that as a general rule we want to be happy. So, if happiness is the destination, how do we get there? Well, the journey for each of us is determined by our dreams. Our dreams typically have dollars and deadlines attached to them. For example, lets say you have always dreamed of taking a cruise on your 65th birthday. The dream is the cruise. The dollars are the cost of the cruise. And the deadline is your 65th birthday. I call these the three D’s. The three D’s are important in financial planning because they provide tangible objectives to achieve as well as provide ways to measure progress towards attaining the three C’s
What it all comes down to is this. If your three D’s put your life in line with your three P’s, then the result is the three C’s! I’ve experienced this personally, and in the past twenty years, I’ve watched dozens of retired couples regain true happiness & financial security. People say that I’m in the rescue and recovery business -rescuing retirees and recovering them back to enjoying COMFORT with CONFIDENCE. Yes, you can stay retired and love every minute of it!
Richard Van Der Noord is a nationally recognized Certified Financial Planner, Senior Rights Advocate & a member of the Financial Planning Association. Van Der Noord has offices in the Village at Thornblade and can be reached at 801-1977 or email@example.com.