You’re probably on the America’s Retirement Store web site because you’re thinking about retirement. That’s good. But you may also be overwhelmed. Tackling that retirement plan is a challenge. Where do you start? Maybe you’re tempted to just wing it. If you just do the best you can, things will work out OK . . . right? If you’re honest with yourself, you know that hasn’t always been the case. You’ve faced challenges that may have turned out better if you’d thought them through and had a better plan. Is retirement one of those things? Should you take that chance?
Maybe you should back away and start by thinking about the challenge itself before you start on a plan to meet it. Call it the “thirty-thousand-foot view,” “the big picture” or “defining the playing field before you start work on the game plan.” The better you understand the challenge, the easier it is to come up with a successful plan to meet it.
Here’s a suggestion to help you get a better handle on your end goal. Take your age and subtract thirty years. Now consider how your life has changed between then and now: What were your goals thirty years ago? Which did you achieve? Which do you still hope to achieve? Which of those goals have you discarded? Why? What did you learn from that? What are some of the biggest surprises you’ve had to face? What did you learn from those experiences? Who are the people who had the most impact on your life? What did you learn from each of them? What are some things that you have always wanted to do, but never had the time? What have you always wanted to learn, but didn’t? What in your life have you enjoyed the most? What made you laugh the most? What made you cry the most? What did you learn from those things? Remember, in the beginning, thinking that you knew it all? When did you realize that the more you learn, the more there is that you don’t know?
What does all this have to do with your retirement income plan? The answer is, you may have another thirty years to live. You’ve just recalled some of the richest and most powerful experiences of your last thirty years and what you learned from them. Now consider the fact that you may have another thirty years to live—and all of those years are blank pages waiting to be filled. How are you going to fill them? How are you going to enjoy that time? You need a plan to make those years the best years of your life.
So let’s work together on that plan. Let’s start with things like what your retirement looks like when you imagine it, what you want to do and what worries you about it. Then we’ll guide you through the things that should be part of your plan to enjoy living, loving, laughing and learning for another thirty years.