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What Does Preparing for Retirement Have to do With Living the RichLife?

By:   |   Jul 08, 2018   |   Views: 12   |   Comments: 0

In my work as a financial advisor I have had the opportunity to talk to thousands of people regarding such subjects as retirement and life goals.  I began to notice that those whose total focus was just to retire often ended up living a directionless, purposeless life.   

        I find this to be a sad situation, because these are people who thought they knew what they wanted.  When retirement finally arrived they realized it really wasn't what they wanted after all. 

        I began to wonder what did they truly want in life, and why hadn't they discovered it? 

        Am I saying all of the concepts of retirement are inherently wrong?  Not at all.  The danger that I see is when people make retirement (the end of a work life) the primary focal point of life.  Statistics prove that the death rate of early retirees is much higher than those who continue with a job or career.  Were there that many retirees who were terminally ill? Or did retirement simply cause them to slow down and stop living an active, productive life? And in so doing did they stop living altogether?

        If retirement plans include only finances at the expense of living a fulfilled life, the results will always be less-than-best for that individual

        One of my clients, whom I'll call Karla, always loved to paint.  Her day job is in Corporate America, but you only have to talk with her for a short while to know that her heart is in her artwork.  A few years ago, she realized that she was wasting precious time by thinking she had to wait until she retired to be able to enjoy her art.  She set up a studio in her basement and began to devote more and more hours to what she loved doing.  She even sold a few pieces of her work, which served to confirm the direction she was taking.  As Karla nears retirement, she knows she will have more time to paint, but she's so thankful she didn't postpone getting started.  She gets to fulfill her purpose in the NOW of her life. 

        This example shows one way to put retirement into perspective.  Another approach is to forego retirement altogether.  I've met individuals who have discovered their life purpose; their lives are full of joy, peace and contentment.  Their lives are so active and fulfilled, they have no plans at all to "retire."  In fact, it would not even occur to them.

        How does the whole concept of retirement fit in to your life?  Do you look at retirement for retirement's sake? Will it simply be a change of direction? Or is the idea non-existent for you?

Don't wait until it's too late to put the concept of retirement into perspective in your life.  Only then will you truly live the RichLife.

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