What’s Your Retirement Mission Statement?

Mission statements have long been a staple of corporate business strategies. They’re usually bland, jargon-filled platitudes that have been crafted, edited and revised ad nauseam by someone in the marketing department.

Then Tom Cruise came along in the 1996 film, Jerry Maguire, and re-energized the mission statement as a guiding life principle, not just a bromide: “What started out as one page became twenty-five. Suddenly, I was my father’s son again. I was remembering the simple pleasures…”

Just recently, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees announced his retirement in a long-winded post on his Facebook page. It looks a bit like a post-mission statement, as it talks about living the dream, facing challenges, achieving goals, and looking forward to the future: “Now it is time for the next chapter of my life…I have new dreams and aspirations, and I want new challenges… the ability to move at my own pace.”

Perhaps each of us, as we approach retirement, should write a mission statement about what we want our retirement to be like.

[CLICK HERE to view the Jerry Maguire film clip, “The Things We Think and Do Not Say,” at Youtube.com, 1996.]

[CLICK HERE to read the Derek Jeter post, “I want to start by saying thank you,” at Facebook.com, Feb. 12, 2014.]

In this industry, we see a lot of advice given about how to prepare for retirement. There can be checklists, readiness quizzes, Social Security strategies, and a plethora of financial moves designed to provide income during retirement.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “5 Retirement Moves Boomers Should Make in 2014,” at FoxBusiness.com, Jan. 23, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to access the webpage, “Retirement Planner: When to Apply,” at Social Security Administration, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Leverage Your Way to a Richer Retirement,” at Forbes.com, Mar. 3, 2014.]

But for some people, retirement is like having children – you’re never really prepared for it. Sure, you can create a financial plan, but you may need to tweak it along the way. You may have grandiose plans to travel or start your own business, but sometimes those dreams can change with unexpected health issues, financial emergencies, or time just seems to fritter away.

But like your plan to save and invest for retirement, perhaps you need a written strategy for how you want to spend your retirement. A mission statement. An itinerary. Consider including benchmarks and timelines, such as by what age you’d like to buy a second home, do all your international travel, or earn your first million in a new business.

And while you’re at it, ask your spouse or significant other to write a personal mission statement as well. Enjoy the process of comparing dreams, sharing resources, and compromising to make sure you each meet individual goals. It’s just like getting married, or having kids, or starting your own business. A retirement mission statement can help you define what you want in the next phase of your life. We’d like to work with you to design a financial strategy to help you achieve it, so give us a call.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Envision your future realistically,” at Fidelity Investments, Jan. 22, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Retiring? Time to look for a part-time gig,” at CNNMoney.com, Oct. 28, 2013.]

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These articles are being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any financial decisions. While we believe this information to be correct, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included. All clients are encouraged to consult qualified tax and legal professionals before making any decisions about your personal situation.

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