by Cindia Carrere
Set another goal and dream another dream ...
CONGRATULATIONS, you’re thinking about retirement. That’s a BIG deal!
If I could climb into a time machine and travel back to my younger self, the first thing I’d tell her is, “Start planning for your retirement NOW,” but I would’ve been too overwhelmed to listen, working multiple jobs in college, and just trying to make ends meet in the moment. I thought I WAS planning for my future by juggling work, classes, and mid-terms.
So, when is a good time to begin planning for retirement?
There are two types of retirement planning: The first type of plan starts long BEFORE you’re ready to retire, and the second plan is whoops, when it’s time to retire!
For those who are currently working, the idea of retirement may still feel far away, yet it’s important to begin planning for it as early as you can. In your twenties, thirties and forties, you may not realize how fast the time will sneak up on you, and you’ll wish (like me), that you had planned better.
Retirement is not a destination. It's a process. Ideally, retirement is freedom from obligation, and having the luxury to do the things you love most. And if you can create that lifestyle now, instead of having to wait, even better!
The most common way to begin planning for retirement is to set up a savings program that will accumulate an amount over time that will be sufficient to cover your monthly expenses.
Part of planning for retirement is deciding what kind of lifestyle you want:
Do you want to be comfortable and live within your means?
Are you interested in creating a legacy for yourself and your family?
How will you pay your bills, stay healthy, and maintain your lifestyle?
Taking your preferences and lifestyle into account, how much money will you need to live on?
The answers to these questions will affect your life in retirement.
Action Steps for Mid-Life Cash
There are actions you can take now to prepare for retirement that will ensure you have the resources available when the time comes. Creating a vision board to think about your goals and desires for retirement will help you accomplish more than you might think!
The very act of deciding what kind of retirement you’d like to experience will bring you clarity, and clarity is power. Use the power of your imagination to picture what your life will look like. Tune in and then lean into the feeling of it.
One of the things to consider is what does work mean to you in your life? Is it a time-filler, a way to pay the bills, or a major part of your identity and personality? How will you feel when you no longer have access to the perks, privileges, or private washroom that comes with your title or being the boss? The transition can be a shock if you’re not prepared.
Another question to ask yourself is, who do you want to spend your retirement with? Do you imagine sharing it with that special someone, surrounded by family, or maybe you’re looking forward to quiet time with you and your beloved pet.
Spell out what retirement looks like for you. Write it out. Oh belieeeeeeeve me when I say that I understand life can have other surprises in store for you by the time you’re ready to retire. Your answers to these questions are not meant to hem you in, but to give yourself permission to think expansively, even if you don’t know how your desires could happen.
Be your own boss in retirement by asking yourself NOW what you want your life to be like THEN such as — Do you want to start your own business, work part time, learn a new skill, do art full time, teach from the vast amount of knowledge you've acquired throughout your lifetime, or pursue something completely different?
1. Decide what you want out of your retirement by asking yourself questions like the ones in this post, including:
- What do you imagine you’ll do with the rest of your life?
- Are you looking to retire completely, or have the option to continue working as much as you'd like?
- Are you counting down the days until you can stay home and catch up on your sleep, reading, or other projects?
- Do you want to travel the world, sipping, snacking, and sightseeing your way across the globe?
2. Create a plan with clear, actionable steps and quantifiable goals. Actionable is something you can do even if you must grow into it, get new skills, or adopt a new mindset. Quantifiable is something you can measure.
3. Reinforce your plan by making a vision board. Refine it as time goes by, adding images to update, illustrate, and support your vision of retirement.
4. Align your energy with your desires. Unconsciously it’s all too easy to send out mixed messages. This means broadcasting to the Universe what you want for your retirement to attract it, while simultaneously offering resistance (because some part of you isn’t onboard with it yet). Resistance acts as a force against your desires and repels them. To manifest your retirement desires, it’s vital to send out clear and congruent signals and align your energy with your intentions so they’re a match to the results you actually want.
5. Take aligned action (for instance, start depositing money now into your retirement account, or increase the amount that you’ve started saving), so you can be one of the vision board success stories! Your future, retired self can gloat about it then if you start now
If you’d like to make a vision board for retirement and attract that mid-life cash, here are some free printable positive affirmations to play with.