Author Archive

Learning to be Present: One of 3 keys to a healthy mind

chilling at the Beach 300x224 Learning to be Present: One of 3 keys to a healthy mind“The day’s work is not complete until the mind can rest as sound as the body.” ~ Patty Frisco

A few years ago, I spent two weeks at a spiritual retreat overlooking the ocean in Brazil.  I was the only American surrounded by others from every part of the world, including Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

The idea of taking off two weeks was amazing to me, but to them it was simply normal.  In fact, a few of them were heading off to another couple of weeks touring different parts of South America.

We spent our time in deep conversations, looking at nature, walks on the beach, eating delicious organic meals, reading and attending evening lectures.

About a week in, one of the facilitators said to me, “Katana, I notice that you are always doing something.  You need to learn how to be present and just BE.”

Then she said something to me that I have never forgotten.  “For the mind to be totally healthy, we need 8 hours of focus, 8 of sleep and 8 hours of allowing the mind to wander.” 

I think about this idea all the time and find it hard to do in our society.  Think about it for yourself and look at your day.  Ask yourself:

  • How do you allow your mind to wander?
  • What would that even look like to you?
  • How can you create the time every day for this to occur?

I invite you to ponder this idea and then schedule time in your calendar to just BE PRESENT.  It’s also called mindfulness and comes during times of meditation, doing something you love like art, day dreaming, being in nature, bike riding, yoga.  It’s also where we become the most creative and where we can release tension and raise our vibrations.

Manifesting a Year of Miracles!

miracles 300x199 Manifesting a Year of Miracles!Last week we had the pleasure of interviewing #1 New York Times best-selling author, Marci Shimoff, on our weekly radio show, Smart Women Talk.  You might remember Marci as the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul series or featured teacher in movie and book, The Secret.

This is the third time we’ve had Marci on the show. The first time was to talk about her book on happiness and the second time was to talk about her book on love.  Last week we were talking about miracles.

I’m a big believer in synchronicity, what I look at as little miracles and sometime huge miracles.  Last week, Marci and I discovered that we had both been featured in two books together on moving through adversity.  The first was, Breaking Through:  Getting Past the Stuck Points in Your Life, and the second was, Thank God I: Stories of Inspiration for Every Situation.  To give you an idea what these books were about, my chapter was called, Thank God My Dad Died When I Was Six and I Became an Abused Stepchild and Wife“. 

Needless to say, I totally agree with this quote by Ann Bancroft:

“The things we overcome in life really become our strengths.” 

How many people are we connected to in some way, yet we simply fail to connect the dots or see the magic that’s occurring behind the stage.  The Universe is always there like the conductor of an orchestra bringing everything together in your life, setting the stage for you to create a beautiful masterpiece.  Most of the time, we are simply too distracted to even notice it.

So where are the miracles occurring in your life?  How often do you simply brush them off as a coincidence or say to yourself, “That was weird?”  What would happen if you actually looked at these experiences as miracles?  Would you be able to create more of them?  I believe so.

I believe that we are divine beings and each of us has come here for a divine purpose.  We have simply forgotten what that is and who we are.  So our  sacred journey here on Earth is to discover that purpose, so we can do what we came here to do with ease, and joy and grace.  The process of waking up, however, often includes lots of adversity.  The secret is to stay awake and  present in every situation by simply asking, “Okay, what’s the message here and what’s the gift?”

Once you are awake, you can begin to ask for miracles and your life will begin to flow.  We have seen these message all our life, but we have simply forgotten.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” 

Here is an exercise I’d like to share with you:

It’s something that I do to remind me not only of the miracles that have happened in my life, but to remember that I am always manifesting, so why not create miracles daily.

Step #1:

  • Go back and break your life out into decades on a piece of paper. 
  • Then begin to write down the major events that occurred during each decade, as well as the theme for each decade.

Step #2:

  • When you are finished with this list, begin to look at the synchronistic events that occurred in each decade, look for the gift in adversity, look for the miracles and the magic that was actually going on in the back stage, and you will begin to connect the dots.

Step #3:

  • Now look at the next decade or the next several decades and create a vision for what this is going to look like. 

This is a magnificent way to you let the Universe, your conductor, know exactly what beautiful masterpiece you have in mind.  And remember, you are both the composer and the musician, so create beautiful music and enjoy!  It’s time live a life of miracles.

The Secret to True Courage

 My tip today is based on this quote about courage by Anita Roddick:courage rocks 300x199 The Secret to True Courage

“The big dilemma about courage is that you never think anything you do remarkable when it’s instinctive.” 

What is courage to you? 

Many believe that courage has to do with being a risk taker.  I am a huge risk taker.  It’s simply part of my DNA.

This risk taking or what some would call courage has helped me do amazing things in life.  It’s part of my makeup. 

Sometimes it gets me in trouble because I can experience huge failures, but that’s okay too, because I have learned that my biggest failures have often been where I have learned my greatest lessons, experienced the most growth or been pulled back on my path when I was heading in the wrong direction.  So it’s all perfect.

So do you need to be a huge risk taker to be courageous?  No. 

Courage is staying focused when faced with chaos, standing up for what you believe in, speaking your truth, doing whatever it takes to get that degree, making a tough decision, and even living in alignment with your values.

Like Anita Roddick’s quote says, “you never think anything you do is remarkable when it’s instinctive.”  Instinctive is who you are; your unique abilities, talents, strengths and even your challenges.  One of my challenges — or strengths — depending on the way you look at it, is that I LEAP before I PLAN. 

Some would say I am Courageous.  For me it’s just instinctive. 

So what is Courage to you? 

  • What’s the first thing that just came to mind?  Make a note of this. 
  • Ask your friends and family how they see you as courageous. 
  • Take a moment after the call and journal about this. 
  • If you are struggling about it, write out all the things that come so easily to you, things that are effortless. 
  • Then take a look at how many of those things are so instinctive, that you don’t even realize just how powerful, courageous and unique you really are.

This will increase your confidence and clarity about how you can use your unique talents to make a difference, to reach new goals, to create more abundance and to live a life you truly love.

 

head shot1 The Secret to True CourageCertified Financial Planner®, Katana Abbott, is a Life and Legacy Coach and creator of the Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity System™, the proven step-by-step process that shows you exactly how to create wealth, make a difference and live the life you love. Click Here to get your F.R.E.E. Video Course and receive her weekly money, mindset and manifesting articles on attracting more wealth, joy and ease into your life!

      Visit here for your free gift! www.smartwomencoaching.com

 

It’s Time To Delegate: The Brain Dump Method

katana boat 300x284 Its Time To Delegate:  The Brain Dump Method

I just returned from 10 days in Panama where I was able to recharge my battery, soak up the sun and clear out my mind.  It was wonderful.  We snorkeled in the Bastimentos National Marine Park and ate fresh fish every day!

We returned to sub zero weather of -3 degrees and a white out while driving home on I-94 at 12:30 am.  My husband had suggested staying in Panama for a few more days till this Arctic freeze passed, but I was ready to come home. 

I woke up Tuesday morning ready to do my radio show and began to pull together my to do list and found that it was a full page long.  All of a sudden I was feeling totally overwhelmed and wondering, “How am I going to get all this done?”

Next I opened my email box and saw hundreds of emails…UGG!  Okay, I thought, time to breathe.  And then there it was, right in my inbox — Day 14 of my 100 Days of Inspirational Quotes:

“When your schedule leaves your brain drained and stressed to exhaustion, it’s time to give up something.  Delegate.” ~Marilyn Ruman

Has this ever happened to you?   These tips come every day for 100 days and they always seem to be just perfect.  This one certainly was.  Let me share my secret to delegating, because there is a secret to delegating.  I call it the Brain Dump Method.

Step 1:  Create two headers as I did below (Personal/Administrative and Business/Revenue). Then go through your list and divide it up into the two columns, deciding where they go one by one. I like to do this on a word document so I can print it out, or save it.

Personal/Administrative:

  • List all the things that drain your energy, don’t generate revenue, this can include emails, follow up phone calls, paperwork, buying that airline ticket, creating that PDF you need for that speech you are going to give, checking out the program you purchased, running to the bank, your dentist appointment, etc.
  • This section will be a combination of business and personal. These items may even be important or urgent, but it’s not your unique ability.

Business/Revenue:

  • Here you will list all the items that will generate revenue for you either now or in the very near future.  These items will include things that you love doing and that you are great at.
  • An example in my case would be sub headers for Website Materials for Tara, Clients, Marketing and Retreats.
  • Next I can list the tasks that need to be done under each category.  So under Website Materials for Tara, I could have confirm SWC squeeze page, New template, private membership area content, create new video for retreat, new ezine header, etc.

Step 2:  Eliminate!  Now that everything is written down, remove anything on the list that is simply not important.  These tasks are the ones that have been there forever and have not been done.  It is time to release the things that are no longer serving you.  So is there anything you can simply release and let go of?

Step 3:  Delegate!  Now it’s time to take out a highlighter and decide what can you simply delegate to someone else. 

  •  What things are you doing that you can delegate to someone immediately with a phone call or email?
  •  What things will take some time for training or hiring the right person?
  •  Who can you contact who always has the best network of resources?
  •  What can you delegate after you pull together the data, content, or paperwork?

In my case, I have found a wonderful virtual assistant and she pretty much runs everything for me. She is on the other side of the country and I have never met her, but it doesn’t matter. 

  • In most cases I need to write the content or create the videos, or have the initial conversations with clients or prospects.  However, once that part is completed, I love handing it off to her.
  • This takes a lot of trust and there will be bugs to work out and it might not be perfect at first…but after some time, things will begin to flow and you will not only free up your energy, but your revenue will explode!
  • My goal is to spend 80% of my time doing the things that I love and that are my unique ability.  Also, these are the things that no one else can do anyway, so it’s perfect.

Step 4:  Events/Calendar-  Although I use outlook and have several calendars that have all my appointments in them, I love having a one page list in numerical order listing all my upcoming nonrecurring events both business and personal.  My current list is from 1/29 – 3/16 and includes my dentist, parties, concerts, speaking engagements, launches, and my travel.  I love seeing all of this in one place. It keeps me focused.

Step 5:  Hot List! Now before you do anything else, run through your list and pick three things only that you will take from your “to do list” and bring them to the top.  You are going to ignore everything else until these are done.  If something else comes up during the day, you can quickly add it to your list under the right column, but focus on your top three things.  Once these are completed you can do it again, but your goal is to feel a sense of accomplishment by finishing these three items.

Please let me know how you like my Brain Dump System.  I’d love to hear from you!  

head shot1 Its Time To Delegate:  The Brain Dump Method

Certified Financial Planner®, Katana Abbott, is a Life and Legacy Coach and creator of the Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity System™, the proven step-by-step process that shows you exactly how to create wealth, make a difference and live the life you love. Click Here to get your F.R.E.E. Video Course and receive her weekly money, mindset and manifesting articles on attracting more wealth, joy and ease into your life! 

Visit here for your free gift! www.smartwomencoaching.com

 

Shifting the Impossible to Possible

  Every day, I receive these wonderful inspiring quotes by women and you can too when you visit www.smartwomenscoaching.com and join our free community of over 300,000 women worldwide.

  • Not only will you receive 100 days of inspirational quotes, but every Monday, you’ll get a reminder of who is going to be on the show, plus you’ll receive my free video training:  “How to break through your fears and step into your brilliance”.  There is a 5 part workbook that where you are completing these exercises that I promise will increase your confidence about creating wealth and happiness in your life.  Again, just visit www.smartwomenscoaching.com

  So today’s tip is based on this quote I received last week:

“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” ~ Margaret Drabble

  Think about that for a moment and let it really soak in and see how you feel about this.  I’ll repeat it:  “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”

  • How many of us love certainty?  I have a friend who always goes on the same vacation every year because he knows he will like it.  Maybe we have a habit of always eating at the same restaurant, or taking the same route to work.

Now imagine what would happen if we tried something different and opened  ourselves up to anything and everything.  What could happen? I really believe our thoughts are things and that we are constantly manifesting whatever we are focusing on most. So what if we shifted our thoughts from fear to love, or poverty to prosperity, or impossible to possible? I have a journal where I write down miracles in my life.  These are all times when I simply threw certainty out the window and instead chose a miracle.  When was the last time you asked for a miracle?  Try it today.  And remember, “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”  

 

head shot1 Shifting the Impossible to PossibleCertified Financial Planner®, Katana Abbott, is a Life Purpose and Legacy Wealth Coach and founder of the Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity System™, the proven step-by-step process that shows you exactly how to create wealth, make a difference and live the life you love.  To get your F.R.E.E. Video Course and receive her weekly money, mindset and manifesting articles on attracting more wealth, joy and ease into your life!

Visit here for your free gift! www.smartwomencoaching.com

Releasing and Receiving Ritual for 2014

0 Releasing and Receiving Ritual for 2014

In December of 2012, I posted a wonderful blog about “How to Release Those Limiting Beliefs“.  It included a fire ceremony.  Yes that’s me burning my list! 

Since we just experienced a new moon at the first to the year, now is the perfect time to do this exercise again for 2014.  This is a great exercise to repeat at least once a year.  I love taking my “Receiving List” and turning it into Big and Bold “I AM” statements like these below:

I AM…

FireCeremony 150x150 Releasing and Receiving Ritual for 2014

My fire ceremony 2012

  • A loving wife and mother
  • A devoted friend and confidant
  • A wealthy investor
  • A bestselling author and highly paid speaker
  • A world traveler
  • Safe and dearly loved
  • Present and living joyfully 

These are simply examples, but I invite you to watch the video above, do the ritual and then print out your own I AM statements and put them somewhere so you can read them every day. 

Stay focused on what you want – rather than what you don’t want. Remember “your thoughts are things” and you manifest what you focus on most…so focus on your “I AM” statements daily and watch the magic begin. 

head shot1 Releasing and Receiving Ritual for 2014

 

Certified Financial Planner®, Katana Abbott, is a Life Purpose and Legacy Wealth Coach and founder of the Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity System™, the proven step-by-step process that shows you exactly how to create wealth, make a difference and live the life you love.  To get your F.R.E.E. Video Course and receive her weekly money, mindset and manifesting articles on attracting more wealth, joy and ease into your life!

Visit here for your free gift! www.smartwomencoaching.com

Finding the Gift in Adversity: It’s always there

scan0002 300x300 Finding the Gift in Adversity:  Its always there

My dad before he died at 32

Today I live a blessed life.  I am married to the man of my dreams, I live in a beautiful home on the lake, have loving friends and family and the financial freedom to pursue my passions doing what I love in life.  But it hasn’t always been this way.

I remember my mother telling me about the time when I was a little girl and when we didn’t have groceries or even milk.  My grandmother would come over to make sure she had milk for me without telling my father because he was so proud.  When we ate potatoes, we had to give the skins to our Labrador because we couldn’t afford dog food.  My father was a roofer and many times he would not get paid.  This was when he decided to join the Army.

In fact, when my father joined the army, we thought we were rich.  The army gave us a beautiful apartment in Germany.  I remember my mom saying how lucky we were because we could have a cleaning lady and our apartment really was beautiful.  She loved living in Germany.

Then that dream ended when my father died.  I was just six and my brothers were just four and two.  My dad was a hunter and he had gone duck hunting to bring home Christmas dinner.  He never returned – he drowned. It was December 19th, 1964 during Vietnam War.

My mother had to move back to Michigan to be near her family.  She was able to pay cash for a small home with my father’s military life insurance.  Between her widow’s benefits and driving the school bus she was able to take pretty good care of us.  I still remember some really fun times back then even though we didn’t have much money.

But my mother wanted someone to take care of her. She was looking for her Prince Charming.  What she ended up with was a monster — literally.  I remember the night she introduced us to this man who she said would become our new father.  I was terrified and cried myself to sleep that night.

Over the next nine years – our lives were a living hell and my brothers and I lived in constant fear and abuse.  Although my mother did not protect us, I know today that she was doing the best she could.  She was plagued by obsessive compulsive behavior – her way of numbing out – but this made her unavailable to us emotionally.

I grew up too fast and was given so much responsibly as a caregiver to my grandparents and my brothers at the same time.  I also cooked, clean the house and was always out fundraising door to door helping raise money for the poor or to raise funds for our school.  This was something I loved and was great at.  It gave me confidence.  I also learned that I loved helping others or leading a cause.  I discovered this when I was just 12 years old.

Often when there is domestic violence, there is also financial abuse.  When my mother finally divorced my step father, my youngest brother was in a foster home, she was homeless because my step-father had taken the equity from her home. She had lost all her government benefits, had no income and she had breast cancer.

By this time, I was on my own.  Because I was technically a “war orphan”, I had free tuition to college and income from the government to help support me while I was in school.

But the Universe had another plan for me.

In my third year of college, I ended up marrying my own monster.  He said loved me, but I knew in my heart that he was evil.  He had been a professional student with three Master’s Degrees and needed to keep his green card.  He had shown the signs, but because I wanted to be loved and taken care of, I thought I could change him and I married him anyway.  I was just 19 and going back to the familiar.  

Nine months later when I tried to leave the marriage he put me in the hospital.  The detective was taking pictures of my broken and bruised face and asked me who would be picking me up.  I had no one to call.  I was all alone.

I was also all alone when I went to court for the criminal charges.  Immigration had charges against him too and at the court house he was waiting for me.  He jumped into my car and he threatened to track me down and kill me if I didn’t drop the charges against him.  I believed him and dropped the charges.

Here I was.  I had hit rock bottom.  I was living in a subsidized town house with no income, no job, and a broken down car.  Worst of all, I had lost my father’s legacy. The college education he had left me was gone and I really was all alone.

So how did I get from where I was back then – to where I am today?  In that moment in my life when I had hit rock bottom, a miracle happened.  I picked up the book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill and it changed my life forever because I found my burning desire and it gave me hope, faith and I felt inspired.    I learned about the Law of Attraction and how I could create any life I wanted if I just had a vision, did the work and never gave up.

Well that became the model for the rest of my life, because I am driven to succeed, a student of life, always learning and studying to improve and I never, ever give up when I have a dream.

My dream was to never be a victim again and to be financially independent. I was just 21.  I found a job with tuition reimbursement, health insurance and a retirement plan as a clerk typist.  Soon I realized that I was not only terrible at detail work, but it was sucking the life out of me and I had to do something else.

Because I still did not have a degree, I thought what else could I do?  And then it hit me, I was great at sales.  I had spent years going door to door raising money for the poor and the needy, I was always the top fundraiser at school when we had contests, and at 15, I had even worked making phone sales by calling from the phone book.  I know it sounds terrible, but for me, it was fun.  

I went to an employment agency and interviewed with two companies; a company that offered services where business owners trade services and a financial planning company called IDS.  I took the job working with the business owners.  I know today it was all part of a divine plan, because years later I would actually end up working for IDS and the contacts and experience that I gained in those early years would be the catalyst that lead me to becoming one of the top financial advisors in the country.

Although it may sound cliché, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. We each have chosen to come here with a divine purpose although we have no idea what it is.  Our journey in life is to figure this out and it’s normally not easy.

At 25, I took a job selling Hondas and this was a major turning point in my life.  Using my selling skills that I had acquired over the last 10 years, not only did I become one of the top earners in the company (earning six figures in today’s dollars), but I met my fabulous current husband who I’ve been married to now for almost 30 years.  He came in to buy a car from me.

Over the next 20 years, I did do the work and I got smart about money, I became a Certified Financial Plannerhelping hundreds of people achieve their financial goals.  I was at the top of my game – And then something happened – I had this feeling there was something more to why I was here – a purpose I was not fulfilling in my soul.

I realized that while helping my clients achieve their financial goals I often found myself helping them find their souls purpose and follow their dreams.

But what was MY dream?  Well the Universe has a funny way of helping us get what we truly want when we make a decision.

What I did next changed my life.  I hired a coach who guided me spiritually and what I discovered was helping my clients find their soul’s purpose and follow their dreams was actually my soul’s purpose and my dream.  It’s what made me truly happy.

Because I had created a team and systems to so my business could literally run without me, at 48 I was able to sell my financial planning practice to my partner for one million dollars.  This allowed me to follow my dream of helping women on their journey of self-discovery, healing, guidance, and building abundance and prosperity in their lives.

I founded a global online community called Smart Women’s Coaching® and my nonprofit, The Smart’s Empowerment Program with the intention of creating a community of women working together to reinvent their lives and grow wealth while following their passions and life purpose.

Product Graphic 9 2 12.katanaabbott.sallie 300x297 Finding the Gift in Adversity:  Its always thereNone of this was easy.  In fact so much of it was very, very difficult, but when I look back over my life, I can now see that it was a series of steps in an ongoing process that I have used over and over to overcome my fears and manifest each dream.  I actually call this process The Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity System™ and it starts with the Dream, then Discovery, the Leap, the Plan, the Dance and finally Mastery.

All of it was perfect — the experiences, good and bad so that I could fulfill my life purpose.  There are three very simple secrets that make this whole process easier so you can go to the next level in life, aligned in your true purpose and they are:

  1. Finding a mentor or a guide who has been where you want to go and following them.  It takes 10 years or 10,000 hours to become an expert in your field – so shorten this journey with a guide.  This could be a program even a book.
  2. Identify your tribe and surround yourself with people who love and support you and who will hold you accountable to your dream.  Don’t do it alone. 
  3. Learn how to manage your energy and mindset.  So often we give up just before we reach success, or because of limiting beliefs or because we need to the tools to keep us inspired and able to finish what we start.

I am a contributing author in a book called, Thank God I, titled “Thank God I was Abandoned and Abused”.  Now I look for the gift in every experience because it’s always there.  The secret is never losing faith and trusting the process.  Once you do, the magic begins to happen and life begins to flow.

Fall Equinox a Time of Harvest: My Pear Tart Recipe

pear tart Fall Equinox a Time of Harvest: My Pear Tart Recipe

 

This year was a bumper crop for fruit here in Michigan and I have had a blast with my garden growing tomatoes, zucchini, lot’s of lettuce and Swiss Chard and cucumbers.  There is noting like going outside and picking fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs and knowing they are organically grown.

For the last two weekends, I have picked pears fresh from the tree and made a pear tart…nothing fancy…very little mess and my family loves it.  Here it is.

Start out with a hot oven of 450 degrees.   While the oven is heating up, prepare your crust.  Then chill it while you are preparing the filling.  It takes very little prep time.

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour plus another 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour – I prefer Bob’s Red Mill 100% whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter – cut into 16 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons or so of water

Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups of sliced pears (my organic pears were very small – normally 3 medium) unpeeled
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • cinnamon to taste (I am generous with it)

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter and then add the water and make a nice ball.  Cover with a towel and put in the fridge while you make the filling…or about 20 minutes till firm.

In another bowl, combine the fruit, by removing the core and making into thin slices.  Then simply sprinkle with the lemon, cornstarch, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Stir and you will see a nice sauce forming.

Remove the crust and place between two pieces of waxed paper, and then roll out with a rolling pin until it is about 9 or 10 inches round.  Remove one piece of the wax paper and simply turn the crust over place on a pizza stone (much better…will make the very best crust or cookie sheet)…then slowly peel off the paper.

Pile the pear mixture into the middle of the crust and then fold the crust up over the edges creating about a two inch fold.  I love this – no pie pan needed!

Place in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes (set that timer), then turn down to 350 degrees for another 35-40 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cools slightly and serve with ice cream.  Serves 4-6 depending on the slice!

This is so simple with very little clean up.  Let me know how you like it.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

I’m Retiring in Costa Rica…what’s your plan?

 Im Retiring in Costa Rica...whats your plan?

Katana’s Retirement

Last week, we began updating our financial plan, and I asked you some questions  about your personal retirement plan.  Did it get you thinking?  With over 80% of Americans planning to work at least part time in retirement to supplement their pensions, Social Security and savings, the idea of retiring to something – not from something™ is catching a lot of attention.

I am a huge fan of doing something you are passionate and talented at create income in retirement.

For the last 10 years, I have been telling people that are planning on living off their savings, that the most they should consider pulling from their investments to create income is 4% a year if they would like it to last for at least 30 years.

  • This means that if you have $1 million saved at age 65, you would only want to pull $40,000 per year or $3500 per month.
  • Well according to David Blanchett, head of retirement research at Morningstar Investment Management, “We have to question that 4% assumption“. He says that withdrawal rate would only give clients a 50% chance of their assets lasting 30 years. A 2.8% annual withdrawal rate is more realistic, he adds.

What this means is that if you have $1 million in assets, you should only be pulling $28,000 per year to make sure it lasts at least 30 years.  This is certainly not a millionaire lifestyle!

I am not saying stop saving. By all means, continue to build up not only cash reserves, but start maxing out your 401(k) savings and IRAs.  You are going to want to have as much cash as possible, so continue to invest.

The secret to building this type of retirement plan is starting early, so you can take advantage of the “time-value” of money. For example, to save $1 million by age 65 (assuming a very generous 10 percent annual rate of return), take a look at the different amounts you would need to save, depending on how late you started to invest in your savings:
Age                                                        Daily Savings                                       Yearly Savings
20                                                                  $4.00                                                        $1,460

30                                                                  $11.00                                                       $4.015

40                                                                  $30.00                                                       $10,950

50                                                                  $95.00                                                        $34,675

 

What do you do if you don’t have “The Gift of Time” on your side?  Then I suggest your access “The Gift of Experience“.  By the time we are in our 50s, 60 and 70s, we all have amazing wisdom and experience that we can leverage to create income to supplement our retirement income.   The key is finding out what we are passionate at and skilled at, and then creating a smart plan to generate income.

So why did I suggest last week was to “find your stuff” and to get organized?

  • I want you to pull all your investment statements, pension statements, your social security statements so you can see what you have.
  •  Once you see what you have, you can work with a financial advisor or a financial calculator to see how much you will have out into the future.
  • By doing this, you will be able to see how much you need to earn to create the lifestyle you want.

The key is to start somewhere.  See where you stand today based on where you are.  Then you can create a strategy.  My strategy is to spend my winters living in Costa Rica or Panama where the cost of living is very low, and I can lead my retreats which I love, and have access to high quality health care at a fraction of the cost of what we pay here.

The old paradigm:  “Retirement” is when you have enough INCOME and ASSETS so working is optional and retirement is affordable.

The new paradigm:  “Retire to Something – Not From Something” by creating lifetime income (preferably passive) doing something you love to supplement your pensions, Social Security and savings.

Next week, let’s talk about different retirement income strategies.  In the meantime,  try to get a “picture” of what your retirement goals are as well as what the future looks like based on where you are today using all those statements you pulled out this week.   Try using the financial calculator above and see what you find out.

How confident are you about Retirement?

Last week, my husband and I met with our financial planner, John Steves.  He is my former partner at Ameriprise and he is fabulous.  Yes, even though I am a Certified Financial Planner, I still have my own advisor. It keeps my husband and me disciplined.  Besides, I am a big picture person and John is the detail person who does the number crunching and also has his ears and eyes on the market daily.

Having a trusted advisor is one of the very best gifts you can give to yourself.  I can help you with the big picture and help you create a game plan, but you will still want someone to run that financial plan taking a look at every area of your financial life, including what would happen if you died prematurely or couldn’t do what you do anymore.  So often I hear of advisors just looking at the investments or just the insurance.  True financial planning includes six areas of your life:  financial position, goals like education and retirement, plus taxes, insurance and estate planning (or legacy).

A great financial planner will ask you to create a detailed budget, asking when certain expenses end, decrease or increase — like college expenses, health insurance costs and medical out of pocket, home improvements and maintenance, and even downsizing.  They will used these numbers all through your analysis, and calculate how taking your Social Security and pensions at different times will affect your nest egg and amount you need to save today.

My husband is eligible for his pension at 55 and wants to compare retiring at age 55 to age 65.  I think he will find it eye opening at the least.  There is magic to knowing these numbers and I will share  what you can do with it this type of information in my next article.

When you look at your retirement plan, do any of these apply to you?

  • You plan to work forever
  • You haven’t opened your statement since the market crashed in 2008
  • You left or lost your job, dipped into your 401K and may have even paid taxes and penalties on it
  • You aren’t saving anymore or don’t even have a retirement plan
  • You have never seen your Social Security estimate
  • You don’t understand your pension and benefit statements or even know where they are
  • You’re paying so much for your kids college, there is nothing left for you to save for retirement
  • Your kids have moved back in after college — enough said
  • You have run up credit card debt and college loans and are trying to pay them off first
  • You lost a big chunk of your savings in the 2008 market crash, never got back in and are afraid it’s too late
  • You are hearing that the stock market is too risky and that bonds are even worse right now
  • You are putting all your money into real estate
  • Your best investment is your business, so you have everything tied up in that and just pray you don’t get disabled
  • You have no idea where to start or how much you will need anyway

If you answer yes to any or all of these, then you are not alone.  In a recent “Retirement Confidence Survey” conducted by  the Employee Benefits Research Institute they asked “How confident are you about Retirement?”  The results were:

  • American workers are more pessimistic about their ability to retire comfortably than at any time since the survey began about 20 years ago.
  • According to the survey about one‐third of workers tapped their retirement savings to pay for day‐to‐day expenses during 2010 and many of them didn’t have much saved in the first place.
  • Just 59% of workers are currently saving for retirement and one‐half of them have less than $25,000 tucked away, according to the survey.

I believe that “work” is the New Retirement Solution and so do more and more baby boomers who are looking at their options.

  • In a June 2008 Associated Press survey, it was reported that 78 million baby boomers are approaching retirement and that 66 percent of these individuals expect to continue working after “retiring” to supplement their pensions, Social Security and savings.
  • In a recent Gallop Poll – that number is now up to 80%.  Most plan to work part‐time, although some say they may need to work full‐time just to make ends meet

The silver lining, according to LIfescience.com people who continue to work during retirement often experience better health than those who don’t work.  As long as the work remains low stress, retirees who labor are less likely to suffer from major diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. They are also less likely to become depressed.

IMG 0715 300x225 How confident are you about Retirement?

My retirement includes Panama and Costa Rica

This is great news…because I see many of us continuing to work by doing something we absolutely love. I call this Retiring To Something — Not From Something. I believe that this new retirement for most of us will consist of a simpler lifestyle with less consumerism and working at something we are passionate about.   If my husband does want to retire early, we will have the numbers, and it will include going through this process…and I am sure it will include Costa Rica, Panama and golf!

This certainly is a different retirement than our parents and things have changed dramatically over the last two decades.  Most of the clients I work with are interested in working in retirement not only for financial reasons, but to continue doing something meaningful  where they are utilizing their unique abilities, life experiences and making a difference in the world.

I see us doing this into our mid to late 70’s.  Look around you and you will see many vibrant 70 year olds doing amazing things and having fun.  Remember, we will probably end up living into our late 80s and 90s. 

The secret is creating your plan now and then taking action.  This is the first of an ongoing series that will help you create that plan.  Please make sure you don’t miss this series and share them with your friends by sending them to www.smartwomenscoaching.com.  Plus your friends will get my free video course designed increase your confidence and wealth, our weekly ezine and radio shows, and 100 days of inspiration (quotes from women!).

Your exercise today is to “Find Your Stuff“.

Pull together all your savings, investment, 401k, IRA, pension and Social Security Statements.  Next week, I will tell you what to do with them.  Don’t delay.  Please do this now before you forget.  You will thank me for it!

If you are ready to Create Your Perfect Life feel free to book your complimentary 30 minute Discovery Coaching Session now at www.talkwithkatana.com 

 

 

 

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