On my last day of work (December 31, 2013), I said goodbye to a few of my colleagues who sat in the cubicles around me. In addition to the well-wishes and expressions of how nice it was to work together (and it was – they are wonderful people), several people made comments about how they envied me for being able to retire, especially at the relatively young age of 56.
One young lady, who was only about 2½ years out of college, said she hoped she would be able to retire young. I asked her if she had started saving for her retirement. She hesitated and said, “Well… I’m trying to save money for a down payment on a house.”
That’s a laudable goal, and I’m glad she’s saving money for something. This wasn’t the time or the place for continuing a discussion on that topic, nor did she ask for my advice, so I let it go. But I’ve thought about this brief exchange several times since then.
...continue reading "If Not Now… When?"
This question is usually first and foremost on people’s minds when they contemplate when they can retire and what sort of lifestyle they will be able to enjoy in retirement. And it’s an important question – but one that’s not simple to answer. Most important, there are a lot of other questions you need to ask – and answer – before you can answer this one.
First, an important disclaimer: I am not a financial planner. The purpose of the blog is not to dispense investment advice. I wholeheartedly recommend that you work with a good financial planner to find the best investment strategy for your circumstances.
Instead, the purpose of this blog is to help you with all of the other considerations you need to think about in order to visualize, plan for, and ultimately enjoy a fabulous retirement. But these topics are inextricably linked with financial concerns, so I will talk about money in these contexts.
The biggest concern I have with the vast majority of books, articles, presentations, and employer benefit plan communications, is that they don’t address these other questions.
If I told you, “In order to have a happy, comfortable life, you need to find a job that pays you $100,000 a year,” how would you respond?
You would probably tell me I’m full of crap, or at least you’d tell me that I’m being naïve and simple. And you would be correct. Why?
...continue reading "“How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?”"