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 advisers 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.

Katana Costa Rica

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