Mattson Financial Services - September 2018

THE ROAD MAP EVERY 55-YEAR-OLD SHOULD FOLLOW 3 STEPS TO RETIREMENT

If you’re age 55 or older, it’s time to get serious about planning for your retirement. In fact, most industry experts recommend far longer lead times of 20 years or more! But don’t be discouraged! Even if you’re a late planner, there are steps you can take to ensure you get themost out of your retirement. Here are the threemost important steps you need to take to secure your future. GETYOUR FINANCES INORDER The first place to start when preparing for retirement is your own checkbook. By gauging your overall financial readiness, you can identify whether your spending and lifestyle habits are in need of a course correction. You’ll need to consider all of your finances as well as your income tax rate, the rate of return on your savings, and any benefit plans youmay have fromyour employer. If your financial readiness falls short of the income you expect to live off of in your retirement, it’s time tomake some adjustments. Cutting back on day-to-day expenses, working a second job, and increasing your

contributions to salary deferral programs are all great ways of boosting your readiness ahead of retirement. KNOWYOUR PORTFOLIO The stockmarket is a tempting gamble for those looking to jump- start their nest egg. However, investments with the highest returns also come with significant risk. The last thing anyone wants is to end up losing their principal right before retirement. That’s whymost financial planners recommend investment strategies that growmore conservative as you age. If you are thinking about investing—or have been doing so for some time— it’s a good idea to check in regularly with your portfolio and ensure that you are comfortable with the amount of risk you are incurring. SETTLEYOUR DEBTS Debts, especially ones with high interest rates, can chew through your retirement savings. If you can’t get it all paid off before retirement,

GREG MCKEOWN’S ‘ESSENTIALISM’

Will Help You Declutter Your Workload

found was that many people suffer not from being lazy, but from allocating their time ineffectively. The impulse to “do it all” keeps folks from spending their time on the things that actually matter. The book, then, serves as a guide to cutting out the extraneous and focusing on the essential. “Life is not an all-you-can-eat buffet,” McKeown says. “It’s amazingly great food. Essentialism is about finding the right food. More and more is valueless. Staying true to my purpose and being selective in what I take on results in a more meaningful, richer, and sweeter quality of life.”This metaphor can be applied to your work life as well. There aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish every task. The essentialist works to spend their time diligently by pursuing what actually matters, rather than filling their days with meaningless busy work. Early in the book, McKeown uses famed Braun designer Dieter Rams as an example of an essentialist. He notes that Rams’ design philosophy can be characterized by three

simple words: less but better. This, in essence, is what essentialists believe.

Doing your best work where it matters and cutting out the superfluous will allow you to better manage your time and increase your performance. As McKeown puts it, “It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at your highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” Instead of having their energy spread out in a million different directions, essentialists channel it into what really matters. McKeown also advocates for defining your purpose in order to accurately assess what’s essential and what isn’t. The more a task contributes to your purpose, the more essential it is. Many business owners and leaders struggle to let go of tasks that are best left to other employees. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to manage a massive workload while resenting the fact that much of what you do is needless, then it’s time to pick up a copy of “Essentialism.”

“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will,”writes Greg McKeown in “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.”When he set out to write the book, McKeown wanted to know what keeps skilled, driven people from achieving as much as possible. What he

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