One of the most exciting things to do during those cold Winter days and early Spring time is planning your “Summer Vacation.” This usually gives your mundane work-week a sense of purpose—or something to do until you ‘are’ on vacation. If you have planned or coordinated a summer vacation before, you know what I’m talking about. You probably mapped out where you are going to go, how you’re going to get there, what you are going to do, who you are going to see, started a list of provisions required, and blocked out everything else on your calendar for that period. Then, if all goes as planned, you have the vacation of a lifetime with sweet memories fresh in your head. Ah, I can almost taste those relaxing days right now!
What does planning a summer vacation have to do with financial planning? Let’s compare the similarities with the process described above. The “cold Winter and early Spring-time” would be your working years. These are the years you get married, acquire ‘stuff’, buy a home, get a raise, have kids, pay for more ‘stuff’, change jobs, and possibly get another raise. The “mapping out your vacation plans” is the planning for retirement, paying for kids’ education, potential long-term-care costs, estate planning, trusts and wills, being adequately insured, and making sure you are reviewing your progress each year. The “vacation of a lifetime” is retirement. These are the years of your life that you may not feel like working…so, you don’t. The “if all goes as planned” means you have planned out your finances to match your goals and aspirations.
I like analogies because there is a lot of truth that shines through when seen from a different perspective. Planning out your retirement years probably should have taken place before you actually did start. When I run a time value computation showing how compound interest works, my clients kick themselves and always say the same thing—I should have started saving earlier! But since we don’t have a time machine (I really wish I did!), we can only start with your present situation and move forward. Let’s learn from the past, live in the present, and plan for the future!
Call my office and schedule an appointment so that we can run a personal hypothetical retirement calculation (including the effects of inflation). Together, we can start planning your vacation of a lifetime!