Many of the guys who had been in the room with me dropped out of the financial industry altogether in less than a year, with some hanging in for a while after before following suit. There were times that even I thought I was crazy for staying in the industry so long. When I meet with pre-retirees or retirees who are frustrated or tired of trying to get their plans together, they ask me how I can do this as my day job without going crazy.
When I took my first job in the finance industry, they brought all the new hires into a room and sat us down. Before we could even start eyeing each other up as competition, my boss called for attention. He directed us that our first task at this office would be to look to our left and then to our right. A sea of eyeballs swiveled around, curious as to what the point of the exercise was.
“See the two people sitting next to you? Chances are, they’ll both be gone by next year—maybe even you.” I saw that his ominous prediction proved true.
Don’t quit. Have a plan and actually follow through on it. This line of thinking is key when it comes to your retirement. I’ll be the first to admit that planning is not easy—in fact, it can be a real pain! You’ll be doing forms you don’t want to do, making calls that take up half your day and following up on things you wish you didn’t have to think about. But do you know what’s worse? Getting mid-way through your retirement and realizing you have no idea what you’re doing.
If you’re getting ready to retire soon, I know you’ve got a to-do list that you file away to the back of your mind when you’re driving home on Fridays. “Next weekend for sure,” you say to the documents that have been sitting patiently on your kitchen table for months. And then you say that the next weekend, and the next, and the next, and so on until you’re eating your retirement party cake and silently dreading that you have no idea where your paycheck is going to be coming from next month.
Go through your expenses. Comb through your assets and see what you’re working with. When was the last time you set a budget? Have a serious talk about what your expectations or dreams are for your golden years and your personal finances. Make an appointment with a financial planner if you think you need help. But don’t just let it sit and pass you by for another weekend. No matter where you get help getting a plan together from—us, your current advisor, your Uncle Bill—get one and stick to it.
Don’t let your retirement happen to you—happen to your retirement.
Need a starter guide to create your plan? You can download it here!