Not too long ago, I read a book called “Change or Die.” In it, the author describes how 9 out of 10 heart disease patients, even when faced with certain heart attack and death, never actually change their eating habits, exercise, or reduce their stress. In other words, these are people who, if they don’t change, would die. And yet, only 1 out of 10 of them actually implemented the changes necessary to prolong their life.
Unfortunately, I see the same thing with many retirees. They watch the stock market go up and down, they’re fearful about what our government is doing (or, not doing!), they don’t understand what they have in their retirement accounts or what it should be doing for them. In other words, they don’t have a plan. As the old axiom goes, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”
The Side Effects of Hopeium
So, why do people do this? Why, when faced with potential loss of retirement or, worse, loss of life, do people still not take the steps they need to? Why carry on without a plan?
One of the reasons is something I call “hopeium.”
Although hope is a vital component of life (we all need something to strive for…), too much of it without a plan is actually dangerous for you.
The stock market, for example, takes advantage of this concept. Millions of retirees put all their money into potentially risky investments, “hoping” that their money will grow and be there for them for the rest of their lives. But, will it? How can you know for sure?
Thankfully, this is a fool-proof program for recovery from too much “hopium.” Its called planning. First, figure out exactly what it is you want your money to do for you. Are you wanting a guaranteed income for life? Is leaving money to your children or grandchildren important to you? What type of lifestyle do you want? Where do you want to live? What kinds of things do you want to be able to do?
Once you have a vision for how you want your retirement to be, the next step is to have faith and belief that you can accomplish this vision. Then, the final step, is to put together a plan and execute that plan.
You definitely CAN recover from “hopeium” addiction, feel confident in your retirement, and have the security and peace of mind you deserve. It all starts with having a vision, faith and a plan…and being willing to implement it.