We recently sat down with a couple for who called in desperation. She was almost in tears because her current advisor told her there was no way she could retire and she really didn’t think she could continue at her job much longer. Besides, she had other things she wanted to do, including taking care of her grandkids as her mom had done for her girls.
As we continued to visit, we discovered that they would have more than enough income each month to retire now, and they could create even more income from their investments if they wanted to take some of those trips they had always dreamed about.
As I think about our clients and most people that we talk to, I would say 9 out of 10 have saved enough for retirement. In fact, I actually told a couple recently that before we met again, I wanted them to plan the Africa trip they have been talking about. It was almost like they needed permission to go.
We see this way too often. Our industry can instill a fear in people that they will run out of money in retirement, so people delay retirement or don’t do the things they want in retirement because of that fear. Of course, there are always some who have not saved and cannot take the income they want in retirement, but we find that is usually not the case for those who have been planning for retirement. Most often, they can spend more and still leave a legacy for their families or communities if that is one of their desires.
This reminds me of the object lesson that is usually used for time management but applies to this topic as well. Let’s pretend you have a glass jar in front of you along with some big rocks, small rocks, and sand. If you put the sand in first, you will never fit everything in. However, if you put the big rocks in first, then the smaller ones and then the sand, it all fits and still leaves extra room. It’s all about positioning. Positioned the right way, most people can actually spend more in retirement; they don’t have to worry about running out of money.
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