Navigating a clear course toward your financial security.

Pre-Retirement Sabbatical

Before you make that irrevocable decision to retire from your long-time employer, consider taking a month off (or longer) and living the life that you have been dreaming about.  In effect, you will be fast forwarding to retirement living on a trial basis to see if it suits you.  If it does not, return to your job knowing that retirement is not what you expected it would be, or that it is still too early for you.  On the other hand, if your sabbatical fits your lifestyle, return to work to complete your projects and then retire with the confidence that you are making the right decision.  If possible, take a series of sabbaticals that last more than one month to test the idea over multiple seasons of the year.

Few retirees just sit in a rocking chair all day long.  Retirees often fill their days with projects encompassing long-time avocations or community service projects that have been dear to them for many years.  The classic report from most retirees with whom we work goes along the lines of, “Now that I am retired (and working on all my various projects), I’ve never worked so hard and hardly have any time left over at the end of the day.”  This is usually said with a smile on their faces!

Goal Setting

We all have dreams, but many are never achieved.  Why?  Because we don’t pursue them with the vigor that is necessary to achieve them.  We are impractical about our approach.

Start by writing down your goals.  The mere act of writing them down causes one of two things to happen.  We either convince ourselves that the goals are worth pursuing, or we reject them as unimportant or unrealistic.  One way or the other, the persistence of the written word helps us to focus on what gives us purpose, meaning and value.

Under each goal, list the steps necessary to begin achieving that goal.  Alongside each step, write down the expected time or money commitment.  A savings goal, for example, is less daunting if you state the goal as a small amount of money per paycheck, rather than the total amount of the long-term savings goal.

Planning for your goal well in advance of the goal deadline can be a lot of fun.  For example, by saving money over a two-year period for an Alaskan trip, you get to spend two years of time looking at brochures and learning about the geography of our 49th state before you embark on the trip. 

When you ultimately leave for vacation, you will not feel guilty during the trip about credit card bills that you will face on your return. There will be money in savings to pay for those impulse purchases that made the trip a true adventure and a lifetime memory.  Tip: If you are considering an Alaskan adventure, take the small-boat approach and avoid the large cruise ships.  We can help you with the details.

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