Foundation of a Happy Retirement Isn't Money
HUNT VALLEY, Md. ( TheStreet) -- One would believe that the "foundation of retirement" is Social Security or a pension. Some may say it is the three-legged stool of Social Security, pension and savings. The reality is that the foundation of retirement is the same for all financial planning regardless of where you are in life: "What you think about money will determine everything you do with and for money."
I have been in the financial advice business for 33 years, and for the first 15 of those years I was frustrated. I seemed to always give good advice, but I was getting mixed results.
|Money is no more powerful than the ancient idols that have been worshipped throughout history.|
One person was aggressive on tax deductions, the other conservative. One person was an aggressive investor, the other conservative. One bought all the insurance they could get their hands on, the other never bought it.
Neither was right or wrong. They were just acting out of what they thought and believed. As financial advisers we need to listen to our clients to understand what is driving them and their belief systems. Only by doing this can we be truly successful in working for them.
For someone to get their "foundation" right requires a massive shift away from some universally accepted beliefs. The king of all beliefs is that money is powerful. Unfortunately, there is no basis to that common belief.
Tell a trillion dollars to go do something really powerful and you know what? Nothing will happen. We must understand that money is an inanimate object that has no power.
Money can buy a house, but it will never make it a home. Money can get you a child, but it will never make you a great parent.
Steve Jobs was worth many billions, but he still died. The same will happen to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and any other very wealthy person. Money cannot keep us from the grave.
Real power lies in relationships, and the No. 1 destroyer of relationships is money.
Money is a very useful tool and too little of it is not healthy. But statistics show that when a family reaches $75,000 in annual income there is little change in the overall family level of satisfaction. The United States peaked in its citizens' level of contentment back in the 1950s and we have been declining ever since despite our vast growth in national wealth. Why have so many wealthy civilizations collapsed? I think you will find the answer in the deceitfulness of wealth.
Money is no more powerful than the ancient idols that have been worshipped throughout history. As you head into retirement it is very important to set your feet upon a solid foundation so that you find fulfillment in retirement and leave behind a legacy. A legacy is the dreams, hopes, inspiration, and aspiration you leave behind to the next generation.