By Jess Peterson
While money makes the world go round, your life is more than just money. That’s why, as financial advisors, we go well beyond the numbers when providing insight and guidance to our clients. It’s a given that we provide top-notch planning and active investment management, but if we’re not also helping to improve your day-to-day life, then even the best-laid plans and money management don’t matter.
So, what does it look like to improve your day-to-day life? For us, we believe that there should be a balance between working your whole life for a long-term goal (like retirement) and making sure you enjoy your everyday life and live in the now. After all, there is no guarantee as to what the future will hold and you don’t want the present moment to pass you by.
At Peterson Wealth Management, we take financial planning further by helping our clients create a balance between working toward the retirement of their dreams and living their retirement dreams now. Keep reading for three tips to help you get started.
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, this includes:
- 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 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.
Have a Holistic Outlook
It’s no secret that money can buy comfort and less stress. But can money buy you happiness? The answer: 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. (1) 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 (i.e., 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, (2) and letting go of expectations of what your life should look like can be a great first step in living your retirement dream now.
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 in the moment as well.
Studies show that individuals who live a purpose-driven life are happier and healthier on average than those who don’t. (3) Not only that, they also live longer! (4) 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.
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 really 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 although the laundry list of stuff to buy, deadlines to meet, and things to do is important, 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
So, what are some of the action steps you can take to start pursuing your dreams now? You may be surprised to realize that some of your goals can be accomplished sooner rather than later.
We at Peterson Wealth Management are here to celebrate your successes and help you conquer your challenges as you work toward living your retirement dream now. Learn more by scheduling your no-fee consultation now! You may also call our Sparks office at (775) 673-1100 or our Reno office at (775) 423-8007.
Jess Peterson is an investment advisor representative at Peterson Wealth Management, an independent, full-service financial advisory firm committed to providing personalized, unbiased advice. With over 12 years of experience, Jess serves his clients by developing strategies for the myriad of financial challenges and opportunities they face as they move through life, educating and empowering them so they can make informed decisions that get them closer to their goals. Jess is known for building strong, long-term relationships with his clients built on trust, and he works tirelessly to reduce their financial stress so they can focus on the things they love. Jess graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science. When he’s not at work, you can find Jess staying active by running in various events around Northern Nevada and racing motorsports around the country. He enjoys visiting Tahoe, playing hockey, and snowboarding as well. To learn more about Jess, connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also watch his free webinar on 7 Unexpected Risks to Your Retirement (& How to Plan for Them).