By Frank Legan
Many of us long to fast-forward to our retirement years so we can finally do all the things we’ve dreamed of. But what if it’s not about reaching your retirement years, but about making choices today that bring you closer to the life you’ve always envisioned?
Let us explore the intentional steps you can take to live a fuller life now by spending more quality time with loved ones, unearthing your true purpose, and shifting your focus toward a life of fulfillment. Don’t wait for retirement—start working toward your dream life today!
What Do You Want Your Life to Look Like?
Financial conversations can often be left-brain dominant. But since money impacts every area of your life, it’s critical that financial discussions also include your hopes and dreams for life. That means we need to dig into the emotional side of our thinking.
One simple way we can do this is by asking our clients specific questions about what their retirement goals look like, this includes:
- Tangible goals: What would you like to have?
- Conceptual goals: What would you like your life to be like?
- Freedom goals: What would you like to be able to do?
Principle in Action
Many people don’t even know where to begin when faced with the above questions and will sometimes provide a surface-level answer, such as “I’d like to travel” or “I’d like to spend more time with my family.” These are great starts, but it may take some time to truly uncover what’s most important to you. That’s okay. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want, there are ways to take practical steps toward leading a happier, more fulfilled life now.
It’s no secret that money can help reduce stress. But can money buy you happiness? The answer is: to an extent. Researchers have found that increased income is associated with increased levels of happiness and life satisfaction up to a point—$105,000 to be exact. Beyond that threshold, happiness levels plateau and additional increases in income result in negligible changes in happiness.
Instead of focusing on the ultimate retirement dream (e.g., a certain amount of money in the bank, or a specific car or household item), try focusing on what you do have and live in the moment as much as possible. Practicing meditation or mindfulness can have significant impacts on your overall sense of happiness and well-being, and letting go of expectations of what your life should look like can be a great first step in envisioning your retirement dream now.
If your dreams are more on the tangible side, that’s great too. To help with these goals, try setting smaller sub-goals that can be achieved more quickly than the ultimate retirement dream. For instance, if your retirement dream consists of retiring in a condo on a beach in South Florida, maybe set a sub-goal of vacationing in South Florida first. Taking that trip could inspire you even more to make your ultimate dream a reality, while also allowing you to experience your dream in the moment as well.
Studies show that individuals who live a purpose-driven life are happier and healthier on average than those who don’t. Not only that, they also live longer! A purposeful life is commonly associated with fulfillment and motivation, and can be found in many ways. Volunteering for a local nonprofit or church, spending time with your children, or pursuing a newfound hobby are great ways to find purpose in your day-to-day life.
Prioritize Family & Friends
This one sounds obvious, but it’s often one of the hardest things to do. Life gets in the way and before you know it, you’ve spent a whole month getting stuff done but not really spending any true quality time with the people who matter most. Experiencing your retirement dream now often comes in the form of just slowing down for a moment. Realizing that the laundry list of stuff to buy, deadlines to meet, and things to do is important, but so is connecting with and learning from those around you.
The great news is, you don’t have to wait until retirement to do that. You can start setting aside time every week to check in with your loved ones and find meaningful ways to connect. You might just find that in doing so, your to-do list becomes a little lighter and maybe even easier to accomplish.
Get Started Today
Your path to a fulfilling life is entirely within your grasp. It’s about cherishing the moments with loved ones, seeking your purpose, and embracing the richness of every day.
If you’re ready to take the next step on your journey toward a more meaningful life, we’re here to guide you. Reach out to us at 440-683-9213 or via email at email@example.com or schedule a complimentary introductory call online. Let’s work together to help turn your dreams into reality—starting today.
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