50 - Plan your retirement now . . . so you are financially ready!

Reason for this Goal:   Plan your retirement now because as we get older, many of us dream of one day retiring from our work and our daily grind of working 8, 9, or 10-hour days or more.  Some of us just want the financial freedom to be able to live our last two or three decades on our own terms, getting up when we want and doing the things that we love to do, without worrying about having the money to do so.  

To be able to live past the traditional retirement age of 65, and have enough money to live well into our eighties, nineties, or beyond, will require a significant investment portfolio, depending upon the retirement lifestyle you aspire to. 

My wife Kathy and I retired within one month of each other.  She at age 55 and myself at age 57.  We are indeed very fortunate as we've beat the traditional retirement age by 8-10 years.  

Plan your retirement . . . but live for today!

One of your goals should be to live for today while planning for the future.  You shouldn’t think only about how life will be good some day when you retire, because you’ll miss out on the real purpose of life, which is to live a life in the moment and a life of purpose. 

It’s likely that the whole concept of retirement is not well understood.  Mandatory retirement, at age 65, was introduced in Germany in the late 1800s, when people only lived to 67 years or so, to allow the younger workforce employment opportunities.

More than a century later, our lifespans have increased substantially, and retirement has evolved and romanticised into living the life of leisure.   Our aim is to have passions in our life, and if you really love working, you should continue to work for as long as you want.    

Many people retire only to find out that it is not what they expected. There is no real reason to retire from something that you love to do and are passionate about.  If you can continue to earn a good income doing what you love, that to me is success! 

When people talk of wanting to plan your retirement or retire early, what they are really saying is that they are unhappy doing what they are doing and they can't wait to retire sooner rather than later. 

Regardless of your view on retirement, you should plan for some day having enough money so you can live out the last 2 or 3 decades of your life such that money is not an issue for you. 

Using Excel or other tools, it’s relatively easy to plan your retirement and track your financial objectives using a comprehensive financial retirement plan/ tracking sheet using personal finance spreadsheets which I've written about under Financial Goals.  

Use a qualified consultant to plan your retirement . . . or not!

You can also utilize the services of a qualified financial retirement planner to help develop your custom retirement plan while considering all of your key objectives.  In our case, we've done our own excel based retirement plan AND we had a comprehensive Retirement Plan prepared for us by qualified and certified Wealth Planning Consultant from a Canadian bank: 

Our plan includes the following key components:

  1. Summary of Goals and Objectives
  2. Net worth holdings
  3. Planning assumptions
  4. Cash flow 
  5. Net worth projections
  6. Goal summary
  7. Estate Analysis
  8. Next steps

In an ideal situation, you will have money to draw from to fund and plan your retirement, while your net worth continues to grow, leaving you enough money to support your giving back and leaving a legacy goals to . . . 

In 2018/19 after researching many independent financial planners with the aim to develop a professional retirement plan, we realized that the advice we would receive would be too conservative for our objectives.  Instead of targeting the traditional 5-7% returns on our investment portfolio, we are targeting 20%+ type returns by investing in growth companies in disruptive industries (i.e. Tesla, ARK exchange traded funds (ETF) managed by Cathy Wood).  These returns, while risky but if realized, will see our financial future have no limits).  

But remember to live for today while planning for your remarkable future!  This is important, as many people focus too much on their plan for retirement, at the expense of living for today. As with everything, balance is key.  

We have recently purchased a retirement condo in a charming town on Lake Ontario to which we plan on retiring to some day. This project is set for completion in 2023/4 and includes a historic conversion of a landmark textile factory into loft condos.

Cautionary words from the book "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David Schwartz

The quickest way to the end is to retire and do nothing. Every human being must keep an interest in life just to keep living.

Each of us has a choice. Retirement can be the beginning or the end. The "do nothing but eat, sleep, and rock" attitude is the poison-yourself-fast form of retirement. Most folks who regard retirement as the end of purposeful living soon find retirement is the end of life itself. With nothing to live for, no goals, people waste away fast. 

Pg 203 from his book.

Key Takeaway:  Have a VERY ACTIVE PLAN for retirement, BEFORE you retire!

Check out a great website I just discovered called Retire Happy!

Suggested Goal(s):    Develop a plan for your retirement.
Your Outrageous Goal:   Update your retirement plan, annually, for life.

Return to financial goals.

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Last updated: November 17, 2021