Shepherd Wealth & Retirement - September 2018






YOUR LIFE NEEDS A And That Plan Needs Action Plan

A t 60 years old, I am now close to the age where many people think about retirement. It seems strange because I have been working with retirees or helping clients retire since I was 24. Looking back, I had a very deliberate plan to get to this age with a set financial security goal in mind. I want to show you how to use a quick planning tool to think about your future and all you still want to accomplish. Two editions ago, we talked about creating a timeline of your money and how that structure can have a meteoric impact on our finances. In the last edition, we focused on habits and the significance they play in our future, both financial and experiential. These concepts are great in theory, but many people struggle to put them into practice. That’s why we take our clients through a specific exercise to help. My eldest granddaughter is 8 years old. When I look at how fast she has grown up before my eyes, I can’t help but think of what I want to accomplish and the moments I want to create for her before she heads off to college. The exercise starts with writing out your age and the ages of the important people in your life across the top of a sheet of paper or spreadsheet. Then down the left column, spacing out in increments of 5–10 years, update everyone’s age.

For example, in 10 years, I’m 70, Olivia is 18, etc. This allows me to put into perspective what I might want to plan at each age with each family member as we both grow older. You can reflect on problems and opportunities that might arise. Think through how to prepare for problems and capture opportunities.

new friend in Tel Aviv a little while back, and he was contemplating what to do with a substantial bonus he was about to receive from work. He had a girlfriend at the time, and I knew it was serious. I asked him if they were going to get married, when he thought they might have kids, and if they would need a bigger house if they did. The next time we talked, he had spent a lot of time contemplating my question. He had not only asked for his girlfriend's hand in marriage, he had also laid out a plan to have kids in 2 1/2 years, made buying a house his top priority, and knew exactly how to invest the funds from his bonus. Doing this exercise can give you a great perspective on events that will happen in the future. It helps you be intentional with your plans and capture opportunities that could be gone forever. It’s like my family having a surprise 60th birthday party for me. Maryann had thought it was too late, but David spurred her on by saying, “Dad’s only going to be 60 once!” By the way, 60 is the new 40, so no worries … And when someone says 60, I hear “sexy.” So it is either going to be a great year or I need a hearing check.


Educating young people about their finances is a passion of mine. That’s why, in our last cover, I focused on habits. In this edition, we can pair that discussion with this simple exercise. If you're going to own a home at 30, finish having kids at 35, own a vacation property at 40, send your kids off to college at 50, and travel the world at 60, you need to understand not just the money that’s required to accomplish that, but also the habits required. How much money are you going to need to travel the world, and how are you going to save it? Looking forward at events you know will happen can sharpen your clarity. I was speaking with a

-Dave Shepherd

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