This article on stress-free retirement living applies to People of All Ages. The reason for this is that it is never too early to set up your retirement plan and goals. This in itself has a lot of side benefits. On the other hand, it is never too late to improve your current situation no matter your age,
Because many do not give the retirement issue much thought early in life, there is only a small percentage of people who retire in comfort. There are many reasons for this, and I outlined a few in a previous post called When Do Baby Boomers Retire?. But in this article let’s see what we can do about creating a stress-free retirement right now.
What are the Current Concerns?
Now for younger folks, this is not as big a consideration at this point of your lives, but I do encourage you to pay attention as then you just may be able to avoid a lot of this inconvenient stuff down the line. In any event, it is good to have some basic financial knowledge no matter where we fit among the generations.
In the financial area, many people have concerns for a variety of reasons including job loss, rising costs in health care, insufficient savings, and a good amount of debt. While these issues can affect people of any age, it is especially distressing for those who are retired or approaching retirement. Studies have shown that more than half of the people who find themselves in this predicament have never spent any time planning for retirement, and thereby determining how much they would actually need to save for retirement.
Again, when we are young time seems to go on forever, and we have enough to deal with in the day-to-day activities without worrying about what is going to happen several years down the line, which seems like eternity anyway. But believe it or not, those years do tend to fly by, and reality does set in at some point.
It’s not only about earning and saving money throughout the years. It is more about a level of awareness, which benefits us at each point of our lives. We increase our awareness by educating ourselves in several areas so that we are naturally inclined to prepare ourselves for the future.
A Few Ideas on Planning
Here is something which will provide increased awareness of your overall financial situation, and develop the habits which will carry you through your entire financial life. This does require a degree of persistence in developing these habits, but once you do, it is quite easy to track your spending and manage your funds.
Many years ago a well-to-do friend told me it is not how much you make, but how much you save. It took quite a while for me to realize the brilliance of that statement. It’s not about being so frugal you save every penny and are reluctant to spend. It’s about managing your money properly, and when you do you are able to spend freely and keep the money circulating. It is part of a Success and Prosperity Mindset where you have a balanced view of spending and saving.
Once you have your new mindset in place, it doesn’t matter what your age is, or what your present circumstances are. You have the confidence and certainty right this very moment that things are “Good Already”. It’s only when we are filled with uncertainty and doubt that we see things as hopeless, and are caught up in fear and desperation.
When we learn to think and do things practically which benefits ourselves and others, we are empowered moment-to-moment, and see each choice we make, and action we take as important. We develop pride in what we do, and are inspired to complete even the most menial task efficiently.
Let’s Break Down a Few of These Ideas Practically
Here’s a brief outline of how to develop a workable Financial Plan which you can implement on a daily basis. The important part of all of this is increased awareness so that you make better choices, and then your improved results will fall naturally in place.
As we grow as a person we cannot help but get better results in all areas of our lives. The same laws and energy which make up this wonderful universe of ours are working all the time. Now it’s about time we get these things working in our favor on a conscious basis, instead of letting them work against us because we are not paying attention.
This is a shift from effect to cause, or from seeing ourselves as a victim of circumstances to being the creator of our lives. Little by little the light turns on and gets brighter and brighter, and things naturally fall in place because we have turned things around by making more enlightened choices.
Steps to Creating a Financial Blueprint for Now and Later:
1) Track all of your spending (set up a daily tally of every penny you spend and keep your monthly totals)
2) Organize your incoming income into Spending Brackets (Daily and Monthly Essentials, Savings, Investments, Fun Money, Give Away/Donations, Education)
3) Every time money comes in from any source break it down and put money into each of these categories. Half will to your essential needs and the other fifty (50%) percent will be divided equally among the other categories – ten (10%) percent each.
4) Every quarter or three (3) months do a balance sheet of your assets and liabilities to determine your Net Worth. (you can find sample balance sheets online).
This will get you started in the right direction, because no matter how bad or good your present financial situation maybe, you want to know exactly where you stand so that you have a base from which to progress. “No news being good news” does not apply here.
The key thought with this is that if you are not able to manage a smaller amount of money, you will not manage money very well no matter how much you make. There is plenty of evidence of this with many famous people going broke and getting in debt after making many millions of dollars. There are statistics of lottery winners being in worse shape after five (5) years of winning the lottery than they were before.
From a personal standpoint, I have done this type of recording and planning for quite some time now, and since I began, my net worth has increased every three (3) months. Not always by a lot, but it has increased. So I encourage you to take this seriously.
How Difficult is this to Do?
The tendency here is not to do it. It takes too much time and effort, and it may not matter anyway. There are many reasons and excuses not to do this, so if you decide not to do it, don’t spend a lot of time justifying why not or trying to find the perfect excuse. Actually anyone will do.
“Before you can become a millionaire, you must learn to think like one. You must learn how to motivate yourself to counter fear with courage. Making critical decisions about your career, business, investments and other resources conjures up fear, fear that is part of the process of becoming a financial success.” ― Thomas J. Stanley —
The bottom line is that you want to avoid running out of money when you need it most. Take fifteen (15) minutes to do this, and set it up so it will be easy to fill in the blanks. Before you know it will be on autopilot, and a no-brainer as it becomes part of your daily routine. This is a great start to your retirement plan.
Too many of us have been brainwashed into being a victim. We have all this tremendous power within ourselves which is untapped and begging to surface, but unknowingly much of our time has been spent learning to be a victim instead.
In order to put the above recommendations into action, or any other type of life plan which will get us what we desire, it is necessary to grab the reins and Act Like the Creator of our Lives, which we are. The choice is simple: victimhood or freedom.
The biggest barrier to have a stress free retirement or stress free life is ourselves. Although we bought into many false beliefs about our power, abilities, and deservedness, it is our responsibility to take charge and make any desired changes. It doesn’t matter what our current circumstances are, or what obstacles we must overcome. It is a matter of choice. We must choose in our favor and see ourselves in our desired state regardless of our current perceptions.
The good thing is perceptions can be changed, and the truth revealed. We owe it to ourselves and others to make the commitment to get in life what we really want which are our heartfelt desires. Life is short and is meant to be enjoyed.
One thing which will help tremendously on our new voyage to freedom is to surround ourselves with people, books, audios, and videos that support our vision. We must eliminate distractions of all kinds. If a loved one is not supportive, send them your love and continue on.
There is a flash of brilliance within each and every one of us which is just so eager to emerge. When we do not recognize it, and fail to bring it forth, we are filled with much stress, pain, and eventual regret. By letting go of the resistance, and emerging into the unknown territory filled with wonder as well as plenty of uncertainty, we will be presented with opportunities that we cannot envision at this point.
“I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” — Robert A. Heinlein —
May we all enjoy the freedom which we possess within ourselves as our natural birthright. We all deserve to live the life we were meant to live and share our unique gifts with the world. May we all be empowered to trust ourselves enough to do so.
Live with Passion,
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