It seems that everyone is talking about retirement planning. There are all these messages constantly asking, “Do you know how much you’ll need to retire,” or “Do you have enough saved for retirement?” I don’t know about you, but it starts to make me paranoid and the only thing I focus on is money. What struck me is that no one is talking about being happy in retirement. Being happy can mean different things for different people, but let’s just stick to the feeling of being content.
Now I don’t mean being content in some type of settling way, but the feeling that you’re exactly where you want to be. It’s a good feeling when you take stock of everything in your life and can appreciate all of the blessings you have. That feeling of contentment isn’t about what kind of car you drive, or how much money you have in the bank. It’s something you can’t buy, but I’ve known plenty of people who thought they could. They would go out and buy the next new shiny object they thought would give them happiness, only to find out it was a fleeting feeling and the emptiness returned.
This also doesn’t mean that having nice things means you’re unhappy. The point is, we shouldn’t be solely focused on one thing when we’re thinking about our retirement; we should look at the whole picture. Retirement should be about enjoying the things you didn’t have the time for and pursuing the things that make you happy. So maybe getting rid of those questions of, “Do you have enough money for your retirement,” will take away some major stress and let you focus on more important things like being happy.
In order to get there, you have to be an active participant in making your own happiness. A good financial plan can do that, but you should work with a financial professional to create one. You need to have confidence in your plan and a financial professional will have the tools, data, research and experience to make sure your plan accounts everything you need to be prepared for in retirement. Having a solid retirement plan that you’re confident is liberating. It gives you the freedom to follow your passions and pursue the things that make you happy. It takes away the singular focus on money and puts you in control of your destiny.
My advice: sit down with a qualified financial professional and create a personalized retirement plan. You’ll live like the wealthiest person in the world regardless of the size of your bank account.