How Your Money Attitude Can Make or Break Your Retirement

How Your Money Attitude Can Make or Break Your Retirement

It is the strangest feeling. The realization that after decades of career, business and thus wealth growth, the reverse begins.  At least from the financial perspective.  The day you start drawing from your ‘nest egg’ instead of adding to it.  It’s unnerving. How do you make this transition without being totally stressed about your finances?  How do you cope with the unknown variables that can impact your retirement finances such as health issues, how long you’ll live and stock market volatility?

Mind Over Matter?

“You’re going to be OK” we are told by our financial advisor.  But it doesn’t sink in.  The numbers are run, different scenarios explored, assumptions manipulated.  Graphs are shown on the big screen.  Sums are written on the white board.  We still don’t believe it.  Three days prior, early retirement was handed to my hubby without choice.  We were still in shock over the sudden drop in household income.  We were in the scarcity mindset.

And therein lies the problem. Your belief system.  What is your attitude toward money?  A scarce resource? A taboo topic?  What did you learn about money from your parents?  We believed that our retirement funds to which we’ve contributed for 30 years were untouchable.  A finite, scarce resource for later in life, not now.  We believed we didn’t have enough, that we had to add more, not withdraw. The stress kept us awake at night.

Financial security is part peace of mind, part understanding of your financial position and part capability to meet your financial needs.


Part 2 and 3

Of financial security can be addressed with a good financial plan – understanding your financial position and determining how to meet your financial needs.  Having a solid plan and understanding its underlying assumptions gives you something real to work with. Knowledge is power. Find a qualified, competent and reputable financial advisor to help you develop financial security.  Nancy Graham of PWL Capital gives you tips on what to ask a prospective advisor in this video.

“The whole point of financial planning is so you won’t be worrying every day about your finances.”  Dr. Richard Johnson


How Much is Enough?

Is the number 1 google search topic on retirement.  The answer, my friend, may be in your hands.  Your financial plan is dependent on your retirement life plan.  Take the time to reflect on how you want to live your ‘next3rd’.  Consider hobbies, leisure, residence, health, personal development, travel, family and social activities, volunteerism, work and philanthropy. Separate wants from needs.  Tally it up, map it out and share it with your financial advisor.  Expect to make adjustments.

“If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.” – wise taxi driver


Know that You Have Options

No question, having sufficient finances to carry you through retirement is critical to a successful, happy and fulfilling ‘next third’. Financial security is a retirement success factor. While, we won’t really know what our future will bring, we can ease our anxiety and thus enjoy life’s third act by knowing that we could supplement our retirement income if needed.

44% of first retirees continue to work in some fashion, not necessarily for the funds but to remain active – Retirement Options


P-Y, shares tips on how he developed a thriving consulting gig in retirement in this post. Denise who shared her retirement wisdom in this post, took on a few “jobettes” when she first retired, including teaching sommelier classes.  Dave, a former engineer became a triathlon coach and Marlene left her project management career to become a people whisperer. Yep, a people whisperer using horses.  My recent Uber driver was a retiree with a clean, new car who liked meeting different people.

Retirement gives you the opportunity to do work you’ve wanted to do on your terms.


Be Mindful, Be Informed

When that anxiety feeling about money seeps in, check your thoughts at the door.  Reflect on your attitudes to money and how well these are serving you.  Replace your worries with solid information – your financial plan, and your realistic budget.  Take a breath, knowing that you have interesting choices in retirement. Om!

Care to share?

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