My good friend Richard recently called me on a Friday to say that he had decided to retire the next Monday. “Wow, that’s quick!” I said. “I thought you were going to work another 3 years.” He said he was, but circumstances at work led to his decision to retire much sooner than originally planned.
I told him that Jack, another friend of mine, also recently decided to retire after working 25 years in the healthcare industry. Richard said he would love to know why Jack retired and asked if I would get some more details from Jack. I think it was Richard’s way of validating his own decision to retire, a way of getting some insight from the success of someone else’s story.
A common question I get as a financial advisor is, “What are others doing to plan for retirement?” In my 17 years of financial planning, I have found that many people have difficulty planning out the details of their retirement. But it was after this conversation with Richard that I realized that he is not alone in wanting to know what decisions others have made.
These conversations have prompted me to write a series of articles about the circumstances, decisions, and plans that people I know have made to make their retirements successful. This series, “What’s Your Story?” will feature a new person each time. My hope is that you will relate to their stories in a way that will help you formalize your retirement plans. Some stories will sound exactly like your and others will differ completely, but all will give you ideas to help you plan for a successful future.
Some individuals will be retired, some nearing retirement, and others will still be in their working years. In their stories, you will read about things such as:
- – What influences were important in your retirement decisions?
- – Did you have a master plan that included specifics?
- – What was most helpful in this process?
- – How did you want to retire, and when?
- – Is retirement what you expected?
- – How are you spending your time now?
- – What advice would you give others?
Although the names have been changed, all of their stories are real.
I sincerely hope you find these articles helpful. Please feel free to email me with comments (good and bad), and with stories of your own.
Check out the first story of the series now, Meet Jack.