Whether we’re talking about saving money, exercising, eating fruits and vegetables, or preparing for retirement, the conventional wisdom is the same: A little is good, more is better. But most of us aren’t doing nearly enough.
One of the things that we don’t like to discuss is that we’re all getting older. In fact, many of us believe that if we ignore this reality, it might go away. The problem is, failing to prepare for retirement may lead to regret — never mind adding an extra burden on family members and friends. So face the facts…and cast aside the “Maybe I’ll think about it tomorrow” chorus. As Napoleon Hill, the American author said, “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”
Action Item: Prepare for Your Retirement
Live before you die. Spend your time doing want-to’s rather than have-to’s. That’s a sure way to live life without regret. As was said in the movie Braveheart, “Every man dies. Not every man lives.”
Be spontaneous. Don’t just create a bucket list…live life hard. I know someone who waited too long and then was unable to fulfill her dreams.
Be a collector of moments, not things. Make every moment matter. As the saying goes, “Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.”
Reject negativity. Be positive and optimistic. Don’t let regret, worry, or self-pity rob you of your precious days.
Invest your time. When you have a choice between time and money, pick time.
Pursue your dreams. Don’t let fear or obstacles get in your way. Others can stop you for a moment. Only you can stop yourself for good.
Be the real you. Have the courage to live your own life rather than living the life others expect you to have. As Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
Give thanks. Don’t wait a lifetime to tell that special someone that you care. And if you have unresolved issues, push to gain closure.
Play show-and-tell. Prepare your friends and family to live without you. You’ve always been there for your friends and family. Ensure that you’ll be there, in spirit, when you’re gone.
Get your affairs in order. Review and update all appropriate legal documents. Make sure papers, passwords, and other key items of information are simple to find and easy to understand.
Make a difference. When most people look back on their life, they measure success by having lived life with purpose. It gives them great pleasure that they gave back more than they received.
“Wait a minute,” you may be thinking. These guidelines could apply as much to a forty-year-old as to someone who’s seventy. The truth is, life is like playing musical chairs — you never know when the music will stop. The key is being in a position to say, “I did my best” rather than “I’m not finished.” So start preparing for your retirement. Live every day as if it were your last. One day it will be.