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AN INCOME PLAN MAY HELP YOU EMBRACE THE BENEFITS OF RETIREMENT SOONER THAN YOU THOUGHT
Ready, Set, Retire
One of the top perks of being a financial adviser is talking to clients after they’ve retired and hearing about how happy they are.
was relaxed and couldn’t stop smiling. This was a guy who wanted a way out of the daily grind for himself and his wife. And they were shocked when they realized — thanks to a written income plan based on both of their goals — they could retire. Well, sort of retire. He wanted a job working by the beach, and he’s now a food runner assisting the waitstaff at an exclusive oceanside restaurant. It provides some income to supplement what he has from his savings, and he loves it. He also plays softball every week and he looks fit and happy. Transitioning to retirement with a part-time or less taxing job is often a healthy step. For instance, I have another client who took a 45% pay cut to relocate to the Pacific Northwest for a less stressful position than his government job. When we met to review the retirement plan we’d built, I asked him how he was doing. “Look at me,” he said. “I’ve lost 40 pounds, and I’m off my cholesterol, blood pressure, and anti-depression meds. I golf every week. I see my grandkids who live nearby. Let me tell you, the extra money I made before just wasn’t worth it. And even with the pay cut, I’ll still be able to stop working soon.” Of course, it isn’t just about reducing the anxiety. My happily retired clients tell me they get more sleep and more exercise. And they have more time to focus on cooking good food. (Sometimes they even grow that food themselves.) • It’s a chance to spend more time with family. Let’s face it, working and commuting so many hours every week can lead to a pretty self-centered life. Depending on your career, it can be hard to stop thinking about what you need to get done even when you’re at home. There’s always an email or text to answer or a project to finish.
It’s a pleasure to witness the transformation so many retirees go through as they recover from the stress of working, commuting, and always rushing. And it’s a privilege to have helped them craft the plan that got them to their lifestyle goals. That’s especially true, I think, when it’s clear the person really wanted to retire, and would benefit from retiring, but didn’t think it was feasible. For those folks, a comprehensive retirement plan is like a permission slip to exit the rat race and enjoy their lives.
I always hope people will make the decision to make that plan as soon as they feel ready because from what I’ve seen, there are several benefits:
• It’s an opportunity to improve your health. I recently ran into a client who retired in his late-50s, and the change in his appearance from the last time I’d seen him was startling. The stress in his eyes was gone; he
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