Every now and then, I ask my 11 year old son what he wants to be when he grows up. After he switched his answer from a fireman, to a policeman, and now to an Olympic Gold Medal Marathon Runner, I began thinking about how easy it was for him to change his mind about what he wants to be….and how much we all change our minds throughout the course of our lives.
Retirement planning gives us a chance to revisit this question: What do you want to be when you grow up . . . again? It gives us a second chance to “make a life” rather than just make a living.
Retirement means having the freedom to do what we find most fulfilling – and to have a lifestyle that brings us happiness. A sound retirement plan lays the foundation to discover how your idea of fulfillment might change, and creates the flexibility to make that happiness a reality in those later years.
Today’s retirees are busier in retirement than they were while they were working. They are spending more time doing things that give them pleasure, and learning more about what activities give them purpose as individuals. When I speak with elder clients, it is always their experiences that were the highlights of their lives, not the material possessions.
The measure of a wealthy life shouldn’t be how much money you have when you grow grey, rather it should be what that money allowed you to experience throughout all your years.
In my career as a financial planner I have learned that people can be liberated by prosperity, but not fulfilled by it. So when my son told me of his desire to win that Olympic Gold Medal, I told him that simply being there to compete is the true prize.