Eventually I would like to retire, and I’d like to have lots of years ahead of me to enjoy it. This means getting my affairs in order, among other things. I am inspired by a former boss, now retired. As a parting gift to the rest of us, he told us to hire a financial planner and figure out when we could retire. I liked his advice, and planned to take it. Then the proverbial stuff hit the fan and I put that idea on the back burner.
Now, it’s time to take a deep breath and see what lies ahead. I still have a few, unfortunately large, unknowns in my financial future, but I took the plunge none-the-less. The first thing I did was to get a will drawn up and to create a trust for my children. It’s a relatively simple thing. Basically, if I die, all of my assets will be swept into the trust. Any liabilities I have can be paid from the trust, including funeral expenses, and then the rest, including life insurance, will go to my children. There are rules for when the money can be disbursed, so I know it will go primarily towards their education. If I live to the point where they are all independent, which I fully intend to do, then I can change the trust at any time.
Having made sure that my children are protected, the next project was to find that financial planner and figure out a likely retirement scenario and to make sure I get on track and stay on track to meet my pre and post-retirement goals. I was fortunate to get a recommendation from a trusted friend and I found the planner to be a great match for me.
It may seem simultaneously boring and scary to put together a financial plan, but the good thing about hiring a planner is that they do all the research and the math and they make recommendations for you based on your own goals. Based on my goals, I will likely have to work for another ten years. If some of those financial blows happen, perhaps longer. If I manage to weather the upcoming financial storms, perhaps I can retire a bit sooner.
I feel very fortunate to be in such a good position, but it is not an accident. I have always been a saver and I’ve always tried to live within my means. I’ve also always had a good handle on my priorities and I’ve done without things I’ve wanted so that I could live by my values and priorities. For the most part, that has meant investing in my own education and the educations of my childen. The great thing is that once they are all independent, I can finally spend my money on new priorities, including travel.
What a relief to have some answers and trusted advisors in my corner. Next up is making sure that I have the physical fitness to enjoy retirement.
Find the Joy in the Journey…sometimes that means knowing when to ask for help!