Live Life on Your TermsEvery individual wants to live life on their own terms. Sounds simple enough, but accomplishing this can be a “heavy lift,” particularly without guidance. For most, living life on your terms means maintaining lifestyle, enjoying family and friends, travel, and recreation.

Make Adjustments in the Second Half

Many sporting events, like football and basketball, are split into two halves. Often, the team that ultimately wins the game is the one that makes necessary adjustments during halftime. They come out better prepared for the second half, clearly focused on their objective.

Life is much the same. The second half of life is where you prepare, plan, and live. Whatever happened during the first half is history and can’t be changed. The path towards the life you want starts with the actions you take early during the second half.

Just as in sports, there are numerous obstacles that stand between where you are and where you want to go. Sometimes these problems take form in what I call “The Three No’s.” These are:

1. No specific goals.

2. No priorities.

3. No understanding of financial market history.

Wrap those up with “No advice” and you have a perfect formula for how NOT to live life on your terms.

Define Your Goals

Vague, fuzzy ideas about things you want are not goals. Having “more” of something also is not a goal.

A goal needs to invoke an innate desire, a focus, and a willingness to sacrifice. It is impossible to accomplish everything that you can imagine all at once. Therefore, it is important to filter your goals and decide what matters most.

The history of the financial markets have a simple message for all of us if we are open to listening. Decades of observed investment outcomes help point the way.

The Three No’s feed into an overarching fear for many investors: “Will I have enough money…will I make it?” To be sure, it is often more difficult than many individuals first imagine.

Inflation Has a Big Impact

One huge problem, as detailed in the simple chart below, is the dramatic impact cost of living increases have on maintaining your lifestyle during retirement. While the chart is very clear, the path forward for many individuals is much less so in terms of fostering a realistic solution to this problem.

Graph Showing Inflation Eroding Purchasing Power

In the second half of life, it is imperative to derive clarity from the many confusing messages. A singleness of purpose helps you stay on track, especially when things don’t go exactly as you expect. Without a clear vision of where you want to go, it’s easy to make emotional choices that appear right at the moment, but may not ultimately mesh with your desired outcome.

Living life on your terms doesn’t just happen by accident; it happens by plan. The stakes for not planning include a constantly declining lifestyle or even outright financial failure. The main objective of planning is to provide a bridge that transports you to the other side…the place where you want to go. We’re here to be your guide. Ready for a real conversation?

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