By John Benedict
Life is about more than just money. As financial advisors, our goal is to provide insight and guidance to our clients beyond the numbers—we aim to improve their day-to-day lives as well. Money is simply a tool to help you live your best life, not just in the future when you retire, but today.
So, what does it mean to improve your day-to-day life, and what does that look like? At J2 Capital Management, we believe there should be a balance between working your whole life for some long-term goal (like retirement) and making sure you enjoy your everyday life and live in the now. We help our clients create this balance by utilizing these 4 tips so they can start living their retirement dreams now.
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, including:
- 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.
1. Expect Less
It’s no secret that money can buy peace of mind and less 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 living your retirement dream now.
2. Set Sub-Goals
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 live your dream at the moment as well.
3. Find Purpose
Studies show that individuals who live a purpose-driven life are happier and healthier on average than those who don’t. Not only that, but 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.
4. 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 spending any true quality time with the people who matter most. Living 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
We hope these action steps have helped you see how you can start pursuing your retirement dreams right now. You may be surprised to realize that some of your goals can be accomplished sooner rather than later. At J2 Capital Management, we celebrate your successes with you and help you overcome challenges as you work toward living your retirement dream in the present. Learn more about how we can help by scheduling a meeting online or reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-641-4444. We look forward to hearing from you!
About John Benedict
John Benedict is CEO, investment advisor representative, and portfolio manager at J2 Capital Management, a boutique financial advisory firm specializing in in-house custom financial planning, tax, estate, and investment management. With over 20 years of experience, John is passionate about helping clients navigate uncertain markets, reduce risk, and plan for a sound future. John combined his talents and passion for statistics and technical analysis to create J2’s tactical strategies, managing them since the beginning of the organization. He is known for being a visionary and continually looking for ways to improve J2’s services and strategies to better serve his clients. John graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in business administration and finance, and his thoughts on markets and technical analysis have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Investment News, and Moneyshow.com. He was also a contributor to the book The StockTwits Edge: 40 Actionable Trade Set-Ups from Real Market Pros.
When he’s not working, you can find John boating or participating in water sports and spending time with his wife, Janine, and his three children, Jack, Alexis, and Saraphina. To learn more about John, connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also register for his latest webinar on What Makes J2 Capital Management Different From Other Financial Advisors.