Trudy said to me twenty years ago, “if we had known how long we were going to live, we would have been better prepared.” You and I are younger than Trudy but her comment is just as vital for us today! It reflects the growing anxiety among seniors (and tomorrow's seniors of course too) – also for families who will be helping to pay for parents’ health and living expenses over the years ahead.
If we’re age 45-65 today we can consider two levels of Life Horizons Analysis. (1) What will our parents need in their senior years that could take away resources we had intended for our own retirement? (2) How would we write and direct the movie for our own future retirement years -- Life Horizons -- to ensure we're aligning our wealth abundantly with the lifestyles we want to enjoy in early, middle, and later retirement?
Life Horizons Analysis – writing your own story.
Over thirty years and two careers I’ve been serving people of various ages and generations. Along the way I have realized it’s foolish to think of retirement as a singular final stage of living. If we avoid illness and early death, we’ll have at least three distinct stages or seasons in retirement.
Life Horizons Analysis gives a different picture than the one you may have seen in an advisor’s office. If a computer print-out showed a straight line (or a flat-line) of life and expenses from age 60-90, that simply isn’t how life is lived. It’s not the life most people choose because they want to do more in early years. It’s also not the life we’ll have as later costs of personal care will spike above the flat-line.
If you’re not yet retired you have time to consider these seasons ahead of time – including the stage you’re already at today. Are you currently employed or operating a business? Have you started practicing some of the skills and activities you most want to enjoy after retiring? When and how will you start a total or semi-retirement? Might you engage in part-time work to supplement income and continue offering your skills and experience? Would you seed or support a new family business with spouse or children? What do the next ten years look like for you?
When the big “R” retirement comes people can experience varying emotions. On one hand they want to live large and enjoy life today when “we have the strength and interest to travel and do things”. On the other hand they may be afraid of depleting wealth and suffering future money problems.
Life horizons analysis combines lifestyle-planning (see further resources on "visioning") and how you implement your certified financial planning. No time could ever be more important for this than as you are preparing to step forward into retirement.
Naturally you want spend money and enjoy life fully in your early retirement years. Let's ensure you’re safe doing this and can secure your future comforts as well. Life horizons analysis gives us a vigorous perspective to see how your money will serve you over time.
Middle retirement may arrive in one’s 70s into the 80s. It’s more about stamina than age. This may be a time when people travel less, incurring fewer expenses, while cherishing pictures and stories of earlier years. In this respect life horizons analysis suggests middle-retirement may cost less, helping to offset higher spending when you need it most.
Later retirement or the silver years should not be mistaken as a time of low-cost lifestyle. Ultimately we’ll come to need more personal support. This is true whether we’re in our own home or in a residence elsewhere. Family cannot do everything without risking burn-out. Children now entering retirement also need their own opportunities for travel and freedom.
Allow yourself to write your own story or movie of your life and future. This is a fun part of aligning your wealth and the lifestyle choices that are important to you With proper care to align your savings with the life seasons you want to enjoy, you need never run short. You can secure life and travel through your 60s and 70s while health is most vigorous. Regular reviews ensure wealth also remains safe for mid-retirement and into our 90s and beyond.
Life Horizons secured by Life Income Mandates.
Elsewhere I discuss how to invest savings, business proceeds, pension monies etc, in terms of “life income mandates”. There we address income streams (from global dividends, real estate income, infrastructure, & other safe structures) so you can outpace longterm inflation, reduce heavy tax burdens, and guarantee financial confidence for retirement living. Whatever level of guarantee you may choose, you'll certainly feel secure that your resources can last for personal enjoyment, comfort, and loved ones. Yes, even to avoid becoming a burden on your children.
Life Horizons and your Business.
Many are starting to ponder how they will unlock value of a family business. This may involve ultimate sale or succession of their business as we discuss in chapter 2 of A Lifetime Of Wealth – And How Not To Lose It (also in modules via home-page at this site). Your advisory team – accounting, legal, insurance- and financial advisors – can help secure your future income from the business you own today. No cookie-cutter exists for this: each path is unique. To explore how you can succeed with this, review the sampling of stories I’ve shared in the book and this website, or reach me directly.
Life Horizons that outlive us.
Many are hoping their family wealth will outlive them as a blessing & trust for future generations. It sure beats spending & outliving your money – which many also have experienced. Consider for a moment what wealth you have right now: home, pensions, investments, insurances, business, other properties, art or gems, all the assets you may have. Did you ever think to say, "I want to spend my last dollar the day I die!" OR would you rather leave a legacy to benefit your children, grandchildren, and community? If you feel this to be a compelling idea, we have the tools to preserve an additional horizon for your wealth among the ones you love. ...that would be the 4th horizon!
How would you feel to live long and healthy, enjoying each season of life, and still protect a well-funded succession of your family business? How would you like to bequeath pension values in trust for your grandchildren? Do you have heart-strings to charitable work in your community so we can design a way to ease taxes in your family estate? Do you feel your wealth should serve as monument to your life, continuing your values and impact for generations to come?
Life Horizons – Your Story
Here I’ve only sketched the beginning of a story which you can write as your own. This is what I believe everyone - and each of my clients - deserves from day one and year after year. It is a thrilling endeavor to explore the future. We build the script of how you want to continue enjoying life through each season to come. We align wealth with your lifestyle and family gifting. Nothing is more vibrant and rewarding than scripting your own lifestyle, the movie of your life, and aligning the resources so it all becomes possible!
Will you share this with someone now? Many are afraid their wealth is destined to disappear. Many lack the guidance to safeguard wealth for their future. People have parked their wealth in places that will deplete their capital and destroy their income. So please share this, add to this discussion, and add a comment here so we can encourage our friends and dear ones to protect and enjoy all their future "horizons".More in our learning modules at: guaranteedIncome4Life.ca Amazon or Kindle: “A Lifetime Of Wealth — And How Not To Lose It.” "Subscribe" -- see on this page -- to get upcoming insights and updates. Brian Weatherdon, MA CFP CLU CPCA MDRT