Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
I recently heard from a longtime reader who said, “I love your pieces but the more I read the more anxious I’m getting!” Whoops! That is most certainly not my intention! Well, at least not directly. Let me explain; anxiety can be, under certain circumstances, helpful to us. This isn’t the overwhelming type of jitters but rather the type of low grade motivation which can ultimately help us tackle items we’d rather not think about. When it comes to planning for that time zone known as Retirement we really can’t begin soon enough ~ seriously!
I am not suggesting in any way that working yourself up to a full blown anxiety attack is going to be in your best interest ~ it won’t be. What would be helpful is if you can embrace those jitters and leverage them into the energy, focus and drive to do something about where you are right now. Where you are right now (whether that is not one iota in place or a full blown, written out masterpiece of a plan) is perfect. It is the perfect place to start, the perfect place to be for this moment before you get to the next perfect place.
I find it fascinating most articles on retirement planning give scant lip service to the anxiety and then focus only on the financial aspect of it! Sure, it is handy to have funds available. I wouldn’t turn that down but there’s more to the plan then just the funds.
So here’s what you might not have heard ~ you want to consider planning for your retirement the same way you planned for your career and once that got started, how you wanted your career to grow. Bumbling around once you’ve retired is a waste of time.
Let’s begin to address that anxiety and get a handle on it, regardless of where you are now.
Step 1 Save something every month. Put $20 aside if that’s all you can manage but put something into an account so the power of compounding interest can start working.
Step 2 Without changing anything, start to write down what you spend money on each day/week/month. This is will enable you later to make decisions.
Step 3 Sweat today. Go back and read “Sweat is Magic” if you need to (June 7, 2016). In order to enjoy the future, first we need to get there.
I know you can do this. I realize this is scary, overwhelming and even a bit depressing but that won’t stop it from arriving. Get ready now and I promise, it will feel better in the long run!