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95 Good Years and 2 1/2 Tough Months!

Who wouldn’t want this as a legacy for their children? I am at an age where lots of friends are losing, or taking care of, aging parents. It is hard saying goodbye to those we love but somehow easier when we know they had a lot of good years.

I have been a financial planner for many years and had innumerable conversations with clients about planning for their financial future. We all want to live comfortable and independent years in retirement, but anything worth having doesn’t usually come without sacrifice. The sacrifice part is where many folks come up short in retirement planning, but sacrifice doesn’t have to be difficult if steps are broken into smaller bites.

Starting with a vision of what we want, and working backwards, reveals the steps needed to achieve our goals. If our focus is strong and real enough, if we can smell and taste it, we are much more inclined to take the needed steps to get there. Visualization can be your key to success!

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? This question became very important to me as I began to push my natural athletic ability and set challenging goals for myself. I love to use the example of training for my first triathlon at age 45. This is a classic example of setting a specific goal, assessing strengths, developing a plan, researching training methods, keeping track of my progress, and reaping the satisfaction of crossing the finish line. While I have slowed in recent years, setting new and challenging goals still excites me, and being a competitive athlete is part of my persona.

So what does this all mean to you? If there is something in your life that you want to achieve – health, wealth, and happiness – focus on the goal and follow these simple steps:

Set your goals! Hosting a special dinner party starts first with the date and time, the guest list, and the menu.

Assess where you are! In order to prepare that special meal, look through the refrigerator and cabinets to see what may be missing.

Put together a plan of action! Identify details that will make your evening really special.

Put it in writing! Have you ever made a grocery list only to get to the store and realize the list is at home? The act of writing down what you want was probably enough of a trigger to remind you what to buy.

Keep track of your progress! Developing a thorough checklist might be very helpful, especially if you are a novice.

Enjoy your success!

Financial goals might look something like this: 1. Retire in 10 years; 2. Social Security will not be enough, so I need to save more now; 3. Begin saving 10% of my income; 4. Write a list of what I want in retirement – where I want to live, travel, activities; 5. Do I need to adjust my savings? 6. Enjoy a successful retirement!


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Boomers Resource Guide is a special supplement to the Senior Citizen's Guide