Frequently asked Q’s & A’s

Frequently asked Q’s & A’s

Don’t you think Financial Planning is what retirement planning is all about?

 Financial planning is important, no doubt about it. But financial planning builds only one pillar for retirement as does one’s physical health and well-being. If you have planned well for both pillars of life and been “lucky,” you will discover there are many years likely left for retirement. You will benefit greatly if you also plan well for many other areas of life, otherwise you become vulnerable to loneliness, sadness, boredom, and even depression. The resulting stress from such a narrow lifestyle can also contribute to many medical illnesses associated with aging. In other words, by paying attention to your retirement years through reasonable planning, you put yourself in situation to enjoy your late years and experience contentment when it may be most appreciated! Again, the book provides many examples of the planning process.

At what ages should I start planning for retirement?

 Ideally, one should begin early writing notes, journaling early memories, articles, etc. about major life events (personal, educational, vocational, or social), maybe record some of them through videos or photos, or whatever technology permits. Then keep all such information in a folder or files as you go through life. By late midlife, you can begin to organize them to use as a basis for a later self-analysis of your life. All of this is really a simple procedure which many people already do by collecting such materials for nostalgic or family legacy reasons. It is not time consuming at all. However, there are a couple exceptions to this planning sequence. It is with both your financial retirement planning and your planning for your health and well-being. Actualize the financial planning as soon as you have an income stream. Start planning about your health and well-being in early adulthood.  The book elaborates on different ways of carrying out those plans and activities.

I am not a psychologist, are you sure most people can do the self-analysis part of the planning?

One does not need to be a trained psychologist to conduct such a self-analysis. You merely need to possess basic self-reflective skills that allow you to organize your own memories, especially early memories, and use all other recorded information you have kept over the years. By using that information to identify how success became defined for you, one can form goals in your planning for aging and retirement across different life areas that are important to you. The book walks you through many doable ideas and suggestions for accomplishing and identifying your goals. At times, a close friend or mentor you trust can also be of value.

Using reflection and self-examination of one’s past life, isn’t it possible many people might get sucked into ruminating about “bad” decisions or “missed opportunities”?

A good question.  It is not uncommon to hear people, both young and old, express initial anxieties and fears about the idea of remembering and reflecting about some aspects of their life. Most everyone misses major opportunities or makes unfortunate major decisions in their past life. It is important to handle them by giving yourself permission to (1) accept them as part of life by realizing it is human nature to make some wrong turns in life’s journey. More importantly, (2) move on by identifying what you can learn from those experiences in an effort to set or reset goals that better serve you in your quest for success and contentment. As I state in the book, success involves failure. Remember, your task is to identify what success means to you. Bumps along the way are vital in helping learn what success can mean for you.