Financial planning brings a lot of emotions to the surface for those embarking on the exercise of trying to figure out how the next 5, 10, 15 years might look like. Generally, the output calls for working well into your 60s, maybe even 70s, to be able to save ‘enough’ to retire and maintain a particular lifestyle. Are you stressed out reading this yet? You’re not alone. Thinking about grinding it out for another stretch of time toward goals that are loosely defined at best could make anyone cringe and it is a primary reason that instead of planning most people…don’t.
What if you framed the conversation differently and asked what it would take to stop working in your current job today? Take a step outside of the box, rethink what ‘retirement’ might look like, and release yourself from the emotional prison that you’re currently in about financial planning.
What if you downsized your house and moved to a lower cost of living area?
What if you and/or your spouse could secure a part-time job instead of moving into full retirement?
What if you stopped perpetually leasing new vehicles every 2 years?
What if you didn’t fully fund the kids’ college expenses to an out-of-state private school and told them you’d cover public, in-state?
Could you figure out a way to make it work? Run some scenarios and get some broad answers – you may not find a path that allows you to stop working today and maintain a standard of living that you deem acceptable, but at least you’ll be asking the right questions, setting the foundation for future behavior and decisions that might get you there faster than you thought possible. We’ve found that working through this process provides a sense of hope where a complete lack of peace of mind once existed. Even if you’re not quite there, you’ll be more committed to getting over the hump, and if you do actually find a scenario that works, cheers, go make it happen.