Thinking about life as a journey is a cliché that we’ve all heard before. However, the intended end of that journey is different for everyone. One place in life that many of us are trying to reach is retirement. The road to retirement may seem like a long one when you are young; but it can seem much shorter when you have not prepared yourself financially along the way.
One statistic that we have referenced before is the fact that more people say they spend time planning for their next vacations than they do planning for their retirement—a decades-long period of life that could potentially be a very unhappy one without proper planning. Though you should not prioritize planning tomorrow’s vacation over your one shot at retirement, in essence if you know how to do the former, then you can certainly do the latter.
On the road to retirement, consider these parallels between planning a vacation and planning for retirement.
- Both involve a destination of choice. Some people like the beach, and some people like the mountains. Some people want to retire peacefully on their plot of land, and some people want to travel the world in retirement. What the destination looks like is different for everyone, and there is no wrong answer. As long as you know how to get there and have the means to do so, then your vacation destination—or your retirement lifestyle—is one that you will likely be able to reach one day.
- Both require planning out a route to get there. You wouldn’t take a road trip without first mapping out a route, so why would you do the same on the road to retirement? Sure, you could drive blindly across state lines in hopes of one day reaching your destination and sure, you could blindly put money away here and there in hopes that it might be enough to support you in retirement. But neither of these strategies is optimal.
- Both may contain obstacles along the way. The route you choose to reach your destination is not always without its problems. On the way to your vacation destination, you might hit traffic. On the road to retirement, you may take a financial hit in the stock market. That’s why you should always have an alternate route planned out. Do not be so stubborn that you refuse to turn around and go in a different direction if the first one does not work out for you.
- Both require you to pack the necessary resources. When planning a vacation, you think about what you will need once you reach your destination. What clothes will you need for the weather? What food do you need to pack? The same is true for the road to retirement. What will you need for retirement once you get there? What type of house will you be living in? What sources of income will you have? If you do not “pack” the necessary resources for retirement throughout life, then you will likely be unprepared when it comes time to retire.
- Both prepare you for a destination that you will hopefully enjoy. The goal of vacationing—and retiring—is to relax and enjoy life. Both are times to try new activities that you don’t/didn’t have time for when you are/were working, and both are times to focus on yourself as an individual—and being the best version of yourself possible. The difference is, when vacationing, you eventually have to go back to your working routine, but in retirement, it’s just life!
Traveling the road to retirement can be just as fulfilling as actually reaching your destination. Take your time and enjoy the ride while making sure that you are fully prepared along the way.
At Ty J. Young Inc., our qualified financial advisors are experts in helping our retiree and pre-retiree clients secure their finances—a critical part of planning for a vacation or retirement! Call us today at 877-912-1919.