June 2018 Update
Despite the fact that our name is Spring, we have a strong affinity for summer. It’s what we often spend the spring season planning for – and now you can see just one of the reasons why the name resonates: we’re all about creating plans that work. Even the plans that only last a season.
The summer season can be an experiment in living the life you want. There is so much freedom that can arrive with summer. Freedom from children’s school schedules. Freedom from darkness and weather-related frustrations. Freedom to spend a bit more time in leisure, with our friends, our families, and even alone. Freedom to find out what it is we really, truly enjoy.
However, as you well know, things can go really sideways in summertime. Most of us don’t have 2 to 3 months of time off with our children, which often means finding activities for them to engage in, or other people who will take them on, which can be very expensive and difficult to coordinate. Even once that’s managed – either through planning or adulthood – we may be eyeing that sunshine out of our workplace windows, pining for days at the beach and evenings by the campfire. We may have spent days doing activities that we didn’t really enjoy, and realize we could have used our precious summer days differently. We may end this glorious season with regret.
As the season begins in earnest, we invite you to consider how you might use this time in a meaningful way, a way that leaves you with great satisfaction when the leaves start to turn. Use it as a practice run at financial independence, that “other” word for retirement, as the standard idea of retirement has really started to change over the last decade. That way, if some things don’t work out, you have knowledge you can put to use in a future summer, and the rest of your life.
While we all imagine that the things we really want will just come naturally to us, the truth is that change of any kind is hard. We’ve seen a lot of people find great success in short-term test runs and slow transitions, as this gives us the ability to review, reflect, and tweak what we thought we’d want with the reality of what we’ve experienced. Spend this summer being truly mindful about how you spend your time and your money, how you manage the inevitable pieces of bad luck, ill health, and unexpected results. Pay attention to what you thought you’d love that you didn’t, or the options that you thought were available that no longer make sense. For instance, Julia spent a week on a cruise ship to Alaska and discovered that she is not a great sailor if the water gets rocky, which strikes things like living in houseboats and sailing around the world off of her to-do list. The cruise reinforced how much she really likes not doing housework or cooking, so outsourcing those items remain on her checklist for future financial independence.
Pay attention to what works for you, what is meaningful, and what will make you happy. That’s the life we want to help you plan.
We have some more reading for you! This month, have a look at Sandi’s Great Reads, and her thoughts on how to prioritize all those pieces that impact the financial side of your retirement. If you enjoyed last month’s RESP article, note that some people had difficulty accessing our RESP calculation worksheets, and they’re working now. Click here for that article full of juicy tidbits.
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