Do you have visions of sitting on the beach watching the sunset over the ocean? Or are you like me and see yourself sitting on the deck of your cabin staring at the Chugach Mountains watching the alpenglow? Or maybe you are the active type whose idea day is reaching the summit of a mountain to gaze at the sunset unobstructed by anything.
Whatever is your ideal retirement, I want you to achieve it. I think with planning, most things are possible. You may be asking yourself, so what is involved in a plan? What if I don’t have the vision yet? Where do I begin? There is no magic on how to start, and some ideas require more time to prepare than others. You want to end with a financial plan that results in a reasonable amount of money, and don’t forget to add a debt reduction plan to that.
Let’s start with the vision. I think this is the most fun part. If you are like me, you may have not allowed yourself enough time between the career and kid management to have thought this through completely. Begin by talking with folks who are already retired. Would they have done things differently, what is the best part for them, what was the most surprising? If you are having trouble envisioning yourself retired, start with your current lifestyle and ask what would you do with more time in the day: do you see yourself traveling more, being more social and active, or starting a new hobby? We have a great opportunity for you to do this next Wednesday at our Empowered Women Smart Money event. We are hosting Retirement Reinvented with guest speakers Gwen Kennedy and Deeta Lonergan. They will be exploring retirement as a major life transition that deserves utilizing; reliable resources and tools, to help you envision and create a plan for the new chapter of your life that is in line with your values, goals, and passions.
Now, I hate to break it to you, but retirement requires money. The complexity of the variables in this question paralyzes people more than all other things, in my experience. I would encourage you to break it into bite size pieces, and use your vision as the foundation. Look at statistics of how other people are retiring. Research in today’s dollars what housing and other expenses are in your area. If you are remaining in Alaska, Neal Fried publishes an annual trends report, on the State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development site, here’s a direct link to the Alaska’s Cost of Living for 2014. I have seen similar publications in almost every state. Maybe you already have plans to be a helicopter grandparent, like I do. My teenage daughter loves it when I talk about the future like that! It gives me a better idea of housing. All of this research is in today’s dollars, calculating what that means for your future is where we can help. Using sophisticated software and the best science available, we can corral what your investments and savings might translate into in the form of future income.
Give yourself the freedom to dream about retirement whether it is tomorrow or 20 years on the horizon, it’s easier than you think.
Laura Bruce, CFP®, ChFC®
Director, APCM Wealth Management for Individuals
For more information on the Retirement Reinvented event please contact Amber Frizzell, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646.3521.