It is absolutely amazing how long an hour is at the age of 10 years old. It seemed like while out playing with your childhood friends, time stood still. I (Mark) used to love to be out in the neighborhood playing a game of baseball or kick the can with all the kids from the neighborhood. If you were to be home by dark, it seemed like an eternity. Why is it that as you get older time seems to go by more quickly? I recently saw a stand-up bit by comedian Louie Anderson who was talking about aging. He observed that as we get older we start to move a lot slower, but everything else seems to move a lot quicker.
Someone asked Louie at the end of the day, what he did that day. “Is it over?” Louie replied. “Oh, nooooooooooooo! I had a bowl of soup! That’s about it.” Part of it is as children there is not a lot that is required of us.
At that age we are not very conscious of the clock like we are as adults.
As we get older we come to the realization of what point we may be at in life. In our 40s maybe we are at the halfway point, 50s are well into the second half. In our 60s, we start feeling really mortal. Are the 70s and 80s, homestretch? The sobering truth is, none of us are promised tomorrow. Many will never make it to what we think is a normal life expectancy. The IRS expects a male to live approximately 87 years. Yet we know not everyone makes it that far. Every day, we hear of tragic occurrences of people dying at young ages. I am amazed sometimes that when a person dies that is in their 80’s or 90’s and their loved ones act like God has personally attacked them. I in no way am diminishing their grief, but I feel like if anyone makes it that far it is a blessing.
What does the idea of retirement mean to you? As The Retirement Guys we talk to our clients about what we call a “mind shift.” A shifting of how we approach things in our younger years to how we should now approach things as we enter this new phase. Sometimes there is never this shift in thinking. The shift involves adjusting how you think about things like risk tolerance, rate of return, taxes, debt, income, etc. We, as investment professionals, think there should be a definite difference between how you think about these things in your 30s, 40s, and 50s, compared to your 60s and 70s and 80s.
Here are a few pointers on what to be thinking about if you are approaching or are already in the retirement phase:
1. Identify potential sources of income. Look at savings, investments, pensions, social security, etc. Try to get a handle on what it will look like. Think about what level of income you will require.
2. Reassess your risk tolerance. Many times, levels of risk exposure are never reduced. The older you get the safer you should be with your money.
3. Pay down any remaining debt. It will be a load off your mind and free up more dollars from your income stream to be enjoyed.
4. Have a tax analysis done. Taxes may be a big issue during retirement especially if you have accumulated the bulk of your savings in retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k). This money has never been taxed and you will have to deal with it sooner or later.
5. Get out and enjoy life! Time is short so do not wait.
For more information on what to think about, you can go to www.retirementguysnetwork.com and request The Complete Retirement Toolkit.