The “Auld Lang Syne” of Retirement

December 28, 2018

Have you ever heard the song “Auld Lang Syne”?

It’s one of the few Christmas/New Year’s tunes that stations will play after Christmas has come and gone. Despite its yearly appearance on the airwaves, it’s also one most of us just fumble through when it comes to knowing what the heck the song is about.

This year I got curious enough to google what the phrase “Auld Lang Syne” even means; apparently it’s an old Scottish phrase that roughly translates to times gone by.

“Auld Lang Syne” is meant to point out that the best thing we can do for the coming year is remember where we’ve been, what we’ve done, what lessons we’ve learned, and the people we’ve cherished. These experiences help us to embrace changes coming in the new year while still fondly recalling the past.

I’ve been in this business long enough to know that retirement can make people rather sentimental about life. Much of what I do on the financial side is the nuts-and-bolts of making sure your nest egg is maintained, but as I’ve pointed out before, the hardest part of retirement is placed squarely on the retiree.

Retirement can be difficult to adapt to for anyone after spending so long in their usual life patterns. The New Year draws similar thoughts from us. We end up looking backwards towards the past while also looking forwards towards the coming year. With hope for the coming year there is a twinge of fear as well.

  • What changes will we have to face?
  • Am I going to come out better than before, or worse?

Most of you know I like bullet points— they make these blogs 100 times easier by outlining certain things you should be doing or things you need to look for when it comes to your finances. I could end the year with tips about how to get a head start on taxes, or how it’s important to do an annual budget review…but I want to be more honest with you as we head into the most reflective time of the year.

So, from a financial advisor, here are the best tips I hope you keep in mind on New Year’s Eve as we all embrace 2019:

1) Start with purpose.

Find something that drives you, something you want to pursue and see through. It can be something as small as finishing a coin collection or as big as moving to a new house–but find what that purpose is for you and go after it.

2) Treat yourself right.

So many of us tend to run ourselves ragged to help those around us. While I know sometimes it’s hard to put yourself first, try to make strides to make sure you’re in better physical and mental shape than you were in 2018. Being a better & healthier “you” in the new year can only ever benefit your loved ones.

3) Plan to live.

So many of my clients get to this time of year and focus on preparing for the end. They retire and think this means they’re automatically going to be homebodies from now on. That’s crazy! Retirement doesn’t mean life is over. It’s the exact opposite, as this is when life can be the greatest! Make sure you have a well-rounded plan—and I don’t just mean financial—to see you through all your golden years.

I’ll end this post with a huge thank you to those who have followed this blog over the past year. I hope these final tips for 2018 will help make your 2019 even better for you. God bless you through the holiday season, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us!