“A plan without action isn’t a plan, it’s a speech.” T. Boone Pickens (American Business Magnate and Financier)

As fortune would have it, I often find myself blessed to be able to sit across the table from a couple of fifty-year-olds who find themselves in the place of contemplating ten or so more years of accumulation, before retirement, from whence 30+ years of distribution will then occur.  These clients, each careful stewards of their wealth, have accumulated investments to the point where they feel shaky about managing it themselves, and they are seeking the help of a financial advisor.

I put my experience, my team, my education and my software to work to develop an iron-clad plan of action for them, for I know that being only a couple degrees off today can result in a cataclysmic miss 10 years from now.  And, I don’t stop at the numbers.  I ask more pointed questions to ensure they aren’t just retiring from something, but retiring to something. Burnout, disinterest and/or boredom are not great reasons to want to retire.  It’s important to take time to think through what’s next.  I ask, “What will you do in retirement?”  “What brings you joy and fulfillment?”  “What skills have you acquired in your career that you can continue to use in retirement to bring you purpose?” “Will you travel? Play? Teach? Mentor someone? Learn a new skill? Develop a hobby?”  [Shameless plug, my book, set to release in September, will dig deeper on the non-financial side of retirement…stay tuned!]

My favorite line as I close the meeting with the client, “My goal is to make sure you have enough money to sleep at night, and enough purpose to get up in the morning.”  And thus, in the 18th year of my career as a financial advisor, my team and I have, by merit of our guidance, enabled our clients to live a life of quality and independence in retirement.  Oftentimes, thereafter, we’re able to provide a plan for legacy to those whom they love (both people and causes) and must leave behind in this world.

I love a great speech, but as a financial advisor, I’m better at providing a plan of action.

How about you?  Do you have an action plan for your retirement?  Has anyone ever asked you the tough questions of ‘what’s next’ as you contemplate that next phase of your life?  A financial advisor can help you answer these questions and more.