Visualizing The Retirement You Desire
Take a minute - put down your smartphone, look away from your computer and close your eyes for a moment. Imagine: What will you do when your money works for you?
Have a good idea? Great!
An Important Question
Now get a notepad or sketchpad or magazines that focus on the things you enjoy doing the most and answer this question:
If you had more time, (not money) what would you do with it?
- Volunteer for your favorite charity?
- Spend more time with family?
- Learn photography?
Brainstorm Your Ideal Retirement
Go on, take a couple of minutes and write down your thoughts. If you're talented enough to sketch it, go ahead and do it now. If you have photos in magazines of activities you enjoy, cut them out and paste them on a piece of paper. You can even do this online by creating a Pinterest board for retirement. (Be sure to make this realistic - if you can afford to do it now, you can probably afford to do it in retirement as long as you are diligent in saving for it.)
Chances are, your retirement will incorporate some of the things you've just envisioned will make you happy. The more detail and color you put into this exercise, the better. I ask you to do this because without a clear idea or picture of what lies ahead in your retirement, you have very little incentive to save for a nebulous event that lies far out into your future.
Using Your Goals as Motivation
When you're done with your notes, sketches, and magazine clip-outs, take that piece of paper, fold it up and place it in your wallet, wrapped around the credit card you use most to go shopping.
I read an article that talked about how we have so much to learn from our grandparents when it comes to savings. The truth is, they lived in a much simpler world than ours. They had fewer choices and distractions, less credit, and definitely far fewer gadgets to steal money away from their savings. We all know we have to save for retirement, and there are plenty of statistics that tell us how poor a job we're doing at saving. What will it take to get us to do the right thing? Just reading about it isn't helping us much. We're aware of our problems but still own them. We must be proactive in our daily life if we're to reach our retirement goals.
That's why from now on when you go shopping for non-essential items, you'll make a choice between that hot new gadget, the cool Prada heels, or whatever your pricey weakness may be, and the ever-present piece of paper that holds your retirement inspiration. Once you get to the counter and pull out your credit card, look at the piece of paper and consciously choose the instant gratification or the vision of your future.
Until you see spending as a choice between instant gratification and a lifestyle of doing what you enjoy most, you won't have proper motivation to take action. You must envision your future to create it.
If you happen to walk out of the store bagless, put the money you just saved into your retirement fund to help restore and take action for your future. Then get yourself a much cheaper treat - perhaps a glass of wine or a candy bar - and while you savor that little reward, keep coloring in your vision of retirement.
Good luck as you take action for your tomorrow today.
Speaker, educator, and financial advisor Kim Gaxiola, CFP® is owner of TechGirl Financial in Morgan Hill, CA. Kim's mission is to provide objective and timely financial advice and guidance, with the highest level of professional service. Serving investors managing their assets from trusts, retirement plans, IRAS, and 401(k)s, Kim has over 10 years of experience as a financial advisor, and 15 years in the financial services industry. Kim may be reached at (800) 584.3652 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.techgirlfinancial.com.
TechGirl Financial is a part of Gaxiola Financial Group. Registered representative, securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisor representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Cambridge and Gaxiola Financial Group are not affiliated.