What Will Your Last Steps Into Retirement Look Like?

If you stand and watch the runners at the 25-mile mark of most marathons, it may seem

like you’re watching the walk of the living dead. Many participants are walking and/or limping. They move in a bit of a shuffle; their feet not leaving the ground in any measurable way. They’re exhausted and wear an uncomfortable (almost disoriented) look on their faces. Perhaps from exhaustion caused by the 25 miles of pounding or even from the discomfort caused by chafing – which, as a friend once told me –“there is no good kind of chafing…”

Anyway, the whole exercise still seems so painful for so many; but not everybody on race day.

Yes, there are the silent sufferers, but other runners pass by smiling and waving and interacting with the crowd. They’re ecstatic; after all there is just one measly mile to go. These warriors make it seem like the race has only just begun. Their energy seems boundless.

They’re the ones who will preen for the camera when they cross the finish line. Happy. Content. Satisfied. They’ll be smiling…

I find that the lessons learned by the divergence of euphoria and the agony of “da feet” while attempting the grueling marathon distance have similarities for those hoping for a secure and comfortable retirement.

Think about this way. You can either cross the finish line separating work from retirement with jubilance and happiness or with snot and mucus covering your face AND your clothes rubbing you in uncomfortable places.

Sorry, I had to go there to draw a meaningful picture for you. Your feeling can either resemble excitement or fear and despair, and much of it will be determined by how seriously you take the exercise of creating a financial plan for retirement.

Having run marathons where I’m both suffering and smiling as I run that last mile, I know with certainty that the runner who completes the marathon with relative ease has a plan for doing so. The same can be said for the retiree who “retires into” a situation that is comfortable and secure.

This from Forbes Magazine:

“It’s one thing not to have a financial plan when you’re 25. At that point your financial plan is to simply save as much as you can. It’s completely different when you’re 55.

The closer you are to retirement, the more you need a financial plan. Without one, you can’t know if you’re on track. And if you don’t know where you stand, you’re just throwing money at your investment account. That’s not the worst thing you can do (it’s better than not throwing money at it, which we’ll touch on next), but you can do better.

Your financial plan doesn’t need to be a massive 200-page document. It just needs to identify where you are today, where you want to be, and how you will bridge the gap. The more specific you get the better, but even a basic idea will put you ahead of almost everyone.”

So please consider how you want to feel at your retirement party. Because I can promise you the champagne is going to be much tastier, if you’re still walking at the end of the race.

That’s just the way it works!

Required disclosures: Investment advisory services offered through Brookstone Capital Management, LLC (BCM), a registered investment advisor. BCM and (Strataxa Retirement Advisors, LLC) are independent of each other. Insurance products and services are not offered through BCM but are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed agents.

Information provided is not intended as tax or legal advice, and should not be relied on as such. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional