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“Retirement Rules”: Why you Shouldn’t Wait to Start Living the Life you Deserve

If you could retire from work today, what would you do with your time? Would you travel, spend more time with your families, volunteer or pursue a favorite hobby?

Well, what if I told you that you could do all of those things -NOW- and still have money to plan comfortably for the future you desire?

Yes, that’s actually possible. Over the course of the next few paragraphs, I’ll tell you how.

My team and I spend a large portion of our time with clients talking about retirement. Without question, retiring and staying retired is far and away the top priority for many plans… and the sooner, the better. People want to travel, spend time with their family or volunteer – things that make life worth living – and things that, in many cases, they feel like they’ve neglected for their careers.

Putting work over play is not only a cultural phenomenon, it’s also one that is apparently very “American.” In several other countries around the world, people have found ways to find “balance,” to live the lives they desire before they reach retirement…and they’re doing it with happy, healthy smiles on their faces. Did you know that if you take a look at the lists of countries whose residents are the happiest and then look at those countries whose residents are the healthiest, that there are four countries that show up on both lists? The “Fun Four” – Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia and Sweden all rank in the top 10 in BOTH happy populations and healthy populations. If you ask me, (politics aside,) they must be doing something right. After some digging, I think I’ve found at least part of the answer: in these countries, people take a lot of time off and much of it is mandatory. According to Wikipedia, people in the “Fun Four” countries retire an average of 2.7 years later than those in the U.S., but work an average of 222 hours, or four weeks less per year. They’re doing the things -every- year that many American’s feel like they have to retire to do!

Would you work a few extra years in exchange for having more time to follow your passions? I bet you would. My question for you is why don’t you?

Really. 

We’ve known clients who are entrepreneurs, executives, and physicians who’ve done it… and you can too.

At Signature, we follow what we call the “A-to-B Planning Process.” It’s an outcome-oriented method of assessing where you are, where you want to be and the strategies that will help you get there and we look at various scenarios to see how your decisions affect your outcomes. In a recent meeting, we helped someone compare what their life would look like if they continued to work 50-hour workweeks until the age of 62 versus slowing down to 36-hour workweeks until the age of 66, with both scenarios involving the same income during retirement. Which one would you choose – or more importantly – do you know what your choices are? It would be a shame to give up opportunities that you didn’t even know you had, wouldn’t it?

For almost twenty years, I’ve counseled people who truly wanted to work to live, not live to work. Whether it’s quarterly mission trips, summers in Florida or one month a year touring Europe, with proper planning and the commitment to do what it takes to execute those plans, having the best of both worlds really is possible! What would you do with and extra four weeks of living per year?

Maybe it’s time you worked with a team who would help you develop a plan to explore the possibilities.

*Any opinions are those of Chip Munn and not necessarily those of Raymond James.  Investing always involves risk and you may incur a profit or a loss.  No investment strategy can guarantee success.  Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC and Signature Wealth Strategies is independent of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

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About Chip Munn

Managing Partner, SWS Senior Wealth Advisor, RJFS Chip is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Clemson University, where he earned a degree in education and was selected as an Academic All American by USA Today. He began his career in finance as a financial consultant with Wheat First Union in 1998. He specializes in retirement and education planning and the transfer of wealth among generations. In 2015, Chip was ranked among the top 10 regional advisors under the age of 40 by On Wall Street magazine. This list, comprised of advisors from regional brokerage firms, recognizes advisors whose practices are the best in their field nationally.  Chip lives in Florence with his family. His community service credentials include secretary of the McLeod Foundation Board and a member of the Florence Downtown Development Board.  He has also held as past board positions with the Florence Family YMCA and The School Foundation. Follow Chip on LinkedIn.

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