What happens to our passwords when we pass?

Estate planning, wills and final testaments are not easy processes to navigate. Setting up life cover and considering what will happen to your family when you pass away can be deeply emotional and an experience many would rather avoid.

But as technology helps us create farewell videos, family portfolio galleries and digital vaults, it has made the experience a little less technical and considerably more emotionally engaging and fulfilling. 

However – we often plan for the event of our death alone. What if you and your partner pass together or in quick succession? Not only will your dependants need to charter the unknown territory of your physical assets and financial policies, but they will also need to deal with your digital assets and online accounts.

From online banking and social media to online shopping and digital subscriptions, most of us have anywhere between five and forty active accounts that will need to be closed, cancelled or managed in our passing.

And, all of these require passwords.

If you haven’t addressed this before, you can start today with a simple spreadsheet or table. You can print it out or set it up on your device, whichever makes more sense to you.

There are loads of apps (some free, some not) that can help you do this, but let’s take a look at a basic framework that covers the essentials and gets your thoughts aligned with what might happen to your passwords when you pass.

Set out four columns under the following headers:

  1. Account (Facebook/National Bank/Netflix)
  2. URL (this is the website address or link that you use to access your account)
  3. Username
  4. Password

You can always add more columns as you use the list a little more, these could include headers like:

  1. Renewal date
  2. Renewal/Monthly/Annual fees
  3. ID number or personal identifying code for that supplier
  4. Email (that is linked to that account)

You could also create groups for the different accounts to make it easier to update and work with going forward. Group categories would also make it easier for your partner or kids to find the relevant accounts easily.

These categories could be things like:

  1. Email accounts
  2. Banking
  3. Business accounts
  4. Internet/Cellphones
  5. Entertainment
  6. Social Media
  7. Online Shopping

Our digital assets are still a very new area of estate planning that have not been fully explored, but if you have some good ideas on how you’d like your social media profiles to be treated or specific messages that you would like broadcast, these can be included in your planning.

But – almost all of these wishes depend on someone having access on your behalf; and for that they will need the four columns of the sheet that you’re about to set up! If you have more than ten accounts – just do ten today, and another ten tomorrow and another ten the day after until you’ve worked through everything. This will make it manageable and achievable.

Six areas of financial planning

Have you ever gone down the #Fintwit rabbit hole? According to fintwit.ai, #Fintwit is a vibrant community of investors on Twitter, who tweet trading ideas, active trades, personal portfolios and well thought out insights about financial securities. Millions of investors around the world are increasingly using Twitter to stay abreast of the financial market and make informed investment decisions.

This financially savvy community is almost as popular as the #BTC (bitcoin) and #crypto communities who are determined to be the next billionaires from investing in cryptocurrencies. They create boundless content on how to best the systems and one could easily spend days scrolling through all of the tweets.

The challenge with these strongly supported content-creating communities is that they have enormous influence and create the perception that investment planning and management is the main (or only) focus of financial planning. The reality is that investing is just one area of about six.

Financial planning is more about managing behaviour than managing money. This is why the first area is cash flow management.

CASH FLOW MANAGEMENT

Some people refer to this as budgeting or a spending tracker. Ultimately, the goal is to have an enlightened conversation about where your money is going every month. Once we know that, we can plan how we can protect your assets and grow your assets.

RISK MANAGEMENT & PLANNING

From a financial perspective, we typically look at the different assets that need protecting; from your personal health to your income, accumulated savings and investments, this is a list that will keep changing throughout your life. Risk planning falls into two categories – your short term and long term risks. 

INVESTMENT PLANNING

Your accumulated savings are great for emergency funds and rainy-day savings, but for long term growth with the benefit of serious compounding interest, we need to plan on how you invest your wealth. This is all about growing your wealth and allowing your money to work for you. This is where the #Fintwit bunch are always abuzz with ideas – but at the end of the day, you need a person who you can trust and lean on to keep you committed to your investment plan.

TAX PLANNING STRATEGIES

As your wealth grows, your tax liabilities will increase. Optimising your portfolio becomes a necessary discussion in order to reduce the amount of money you will have to pay to The Man. There are loads of strategies to legally protect and grow your wealth without eroding it to tax.

RETIREMENT PLANNING

In a nutshell – this is a sum of money that will help you rely less on income generation later in life. It doesn’t mean you have to stop working, or stop adding value – it just means that you are working to create more freedom for yourself so that you don’t have to work every day in order to pay your monthly bills and finance the lifestyle that you’d like to live.

ESTATE PLANNING

All of this asset building, combined with your risk portfolio, creates value in your personal estate. It doesn’t have to be millions; whatever you’ve built will be taxed when you pass away. To plan for this and reduce that tax liability and associated fees, estate planning ensures that your loved ones will have access to most of what you’ve been able to provide for them.

These are the most common areas of financial planning: cash flow management, risk management, investment planning, taxing planning, retirement and estate planning. They create the starting blocks for our conversations to help you manage your behaviour to ultimately manage your money better.

Ready to be more resilient?

We can’t change what happens to us, but we can change how we respond to what happens to us, and within us.

Everything ages, but not everything ages well. Some things can wither from the inside out if they do not have a well-developed resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back and withstand stressors. It is to have the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

For us, resilience is something that we need to work on actively. If we were lucky to have a loving environment to grow up in, we would have a certain amount of resilience from an early age. However, as soon as our communities begin to find ways to disqualify, exclude, challenge and limit us, our resilience will be challenged and reduced.

This is why we need to work on our resilience.

Resilience is linked to our sense of, or connectedness to, our wholeness. Building resilience means that we need to embrace all sides of ourselves (even the warty ones!). Connecting with the heart is at the core of finding and creating inner wholeness.

As Dr Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist, writes, “We are compassionate with ourselves when we are able to embrace all parts of ourselves and recognize the needs and values expressed by each part. Practicing self-compassion involves learning how to firstly practice self-care and secondly learning how to love yourself.”

This is also crucial in building financial resilience. Suppose we aren’t able to question and investigate how we feel about money. In that case, we will not succeed in promoting healthy habits, supporting a positive self-image, and fortifying resilient relationships.

On the lonerwolf.com website, they put it like this:

Wholeness and holiness are connected. Holy comes from the Old English word hālig, which means “whole, healthy, entire, and complete.” So to be whole means to be holy. Wholeness is holiness – and this is why when we have a direct experience of our wholeness it tends to feel like a mystical experience of awe, gratitude, love, and reverie.

But it’s not something reserved for mystics and people on lonely mountaintops. 

Wholeness, self-compassion, inner strength, confidence — resilience — are available to all of us. When we show up every day, helping to bring love and value to those around us, we can be resilient. When we make plans for our future and are forced to change those plans due to unforeseen changes, we can be resilient.

When we support our family through tough times or provide a safety net for our children, partners, or parents, we can be resilient.

It all begins with being kinder to ourselves; this is how we bounce back stronger.

The higher the fee, the better the value?

How do you decide on the better of two products you are not really familiar with or can’t visually tell the difference?

For example – I had to buy a new cellphone charger the other day, and there were two options – one was two-thirds the price of the other, but both were reasonably priced (according to my limited experience of buying chargers!).

I went with the more expensive one because the price tag convinced me that it would be the better choice. If I knew the industry, I would probably know that they were both made in the same factory in some far-off land – but the higher price convinced me of higher value.

You’d probably do the same. It’s the same with buying a car, paying for food at a restaurant, purchasing new shoes and just about everything else that we pay for. Price skews our perception of value.

It’s also the same for investment fees. Sometimes we can assume that the higher the fee, the better the return.

But – as we can see in the graph above, this is not the case for long-term investment strategies. Over time, fees can erode over 60% of our final portfolio value. That’s why, when it comes to hard and fast rules for fees and certainty in investing – they simply don’t exist.

However, we can say that in most cases, lower fees lead to higher returns.

As Occam Investing wrote in a recent blog, “There are no such things as laws in investing.”

When it comes to markets, we can never share the same level of certainty as we do in Newton’s laws of motion.

Trying to prove something in investing is like Newton trying to prove gravity exists in a world where sometimes things are pulled towards each other, sometimes they aren’t, sometimes the opposite happens, and sometimes something invisible comes out of nowhere and throws everything around a bit.

To make matters even more difficult, the environment in which we’re operating is always changing. Newton was able to prove gravity existed because the laws of physics never changed – he was able to run experiments while keeping everything else constant. But markets are always changing.

Investors can never really be sure of anything – we’re left to make the best of unprovable theories and confidence levels while navigating an environment in constant flux. But no matter how much changes in markets, no matter how many theories you choose to place confidence in, one thing will remain true regardless of approach.

All else equal, lower fees will result in better performance.

And although all else isn’t always equal, both the theory and the evidence show that the best and most consistent way to increase returns is to reduce fees.

This is a powerful conclusion for investors. While so much of what happens during our investing lifetime is outside our control, how much we pay for our investments is very much inside our control.

Given that the amount paid in fees is a great predictor of performance in investing, focussing on reducing fees is the most reliable way investors have to increase their odds of investing successfully.

If you’d like to read more of the technical analysis of this conclusion from Occam Investing in the UK, you can click here.

Making mindfulness easier

Anything in life that is truly worth doing – is not easy. It is easy to forget this when we see others doing really well and making the difficult seem like a cinch. We don’t see all the hard work that goes into the background.

But in our own areas of expertise, we have had to start from level zero and apply ourselves over time to gain the knowledge and experience akin to being proficient.

When it comes to mindfulness, a key practice for our mental health, it feels like it’s something that should come naturally. All we need to do is focus our attention on the present moment, and we will be able to get it right. Mindfulness has been proven to calm the mind, ground the body, and increase overall well-being and good health, scientifically and spiritually.

We understand that it’s worth doing, but in practice, it’s not that easy. We get distracted, our thoughts run all over the show, and before we know it, we’re no longer practising mindfulness.

Mindfulness is an incredible tool to help us make better decisions around our finances, relationships, career and extracts more enjoyment and fulfilment from the activities that we love so much.

Here are a few ideas that we can all work on, gradually and steadily, to grow our mastery of mindfulness and make this journey a little easier.

DO EVERYTHING SLOWLY

Consciously slow down. Walk slowly, drink slowly, sit slowly, breathe slowly, talk slowly, move your body slowly — practice slowing down your natural tendency to rush everything. When we wake up to an alarm clock, judge our travel time by traffic flows, set meetings for productive hours in the day, watch the clock during dinners and keep trying to get to bed earlier, we’re living by the clock. And this will always leave us feeling rushed.

Slowing down helps us break the grip of ‘always feeling rushed’ and helps us focus on what we’re doing right now. When you slow your breathing – you’re focused on the air going in and going out. You’re probably doing it right now as you read this – and that’s a super start! You’re already more mindful.

Whenever your world starts to spin a little too fast, witness your breath and feel yourself begin to slow down.

LET EATING BECOME A SENSORY EXPLOSION

There’s a moment in the 2007 Disney movie, Ratatouille, where Remy and Emile taste some cheese that was struck by lighting. Visually, as Remy takes a bite, we see the background fade into a fireworks display, and his face shows the visceral delight in this new taste experience.

When we want to improve our mindfulness muscles, we can do it with every meal and snack during the day. As we slow those down (not eating on the run…), we can experience more of the flavour, texture and benefits of what we are putting in our bodies.

SPEND MORE TIME IN NATURE

We’ve said it many times in our blogs, spending time in nature is healing and helpful on so many levels. It boosts happy-hormones, improves our air intake, stimulates creativity and reduces emotional tension. But – it also makes mindfulness easier.

Living indoors all day tends to restrict the mind immensely. By going outside, we open our minds to experiencing more expansion and relaxation.

If we’re walking a little slower (let’s assume we’re not trying to get our lifestyle-plan points!), we will be able to commit to watching, smelling and hearing whatever comes into our field of stimulation. Experts say that doing this for at least half an hour a day is all we need to begin making mindfulness easier.

We can work on mindfulness of sounds, smells, flavors, feelings/textures, and what we see and start small. Focus on one mindfulness exercise and commit time to it each day. As this becomes easier, you can journal your experiences (this enhances mindfulness of a recent experience) and reflect on what you’ve learned or how you’ve changed. Be kind to yourself and have some fun with it!

Déjà vu?

When we experience our first crisis, we think our world is about to end. It could have been our first unrequited love when we were 12, a rejection letter from an application when we were barely out of our teens, bad news from the doctor or an accident that leaves us dealing with a deep loss.

Sometimes it can be our hundredth crisis, and it can still leave us wondering how we can proceed; perhaps it sparks our emotions to do something wild or reckless, or maybe we feel the numbing reality that life is about to change significantly.

As Victoria Reuvers, Managing Director at Morningstar Investment Management South Africa, recently wrote – these experiences begin to feel like déjà vu? From rioting, demonstrations and political unrest to natural disasters, heatwaves and market crashes – we can’t help but ask: Have we been here before?

Not necessarily.

Reuvers goes on to say that “while it’s impossible to comprehend and rationalise what we are going through as families, communities and as a country, one thing that we know to be true, that we will survive this and we will rebuild this nation.

When the dust settles, and we sit at home and reflect, we find ourselves wondering about the future, and we worry. We worry about when/how life will ever return to ‘normal’. We worry about the health of our family, friends, and colleagues. We worry about the economy and work. We worry about money and our savings. While we are not able to guide all these worries, we can provide more context around money, savings, and investments.”

When markets rise and fall with the influence of investor emotion and sentiment, it’s only natural that many investors may grow tired of stomaching the unpredictable rollercoaster ride and would much rather prefer to place their feet on solid ground. As Reuvers says in her article: In the world of investments, the rollercoaster ride is equities, and cash is often seen as the solid ground.

From the graph of Morningstar Direct (featured above), we can see the 15 worst days on the JSE (the red bars) since the end of June 1995 and how the local market reacted after the drawdown. The blue bars show the 12-month returns investors experienced after the worst day, and the green bars show the five-year annualised returns after the drawdown.

For example, during the 2008 global financial crisis on 06/10/2008, there was a loss of -7.12% for the day, but the subsequent one-year return amounted to 22.41%, and the annualised five-year return was 19.24%.

During times of negativity and volatility (which may feel like déjà vu), many advisers would tend to recommend to investors who are in Equities to retain their exposure to this asset class since experience shows us that short-term phenomenon generally should not detract from the long-term value of equities.

When this is the case, price declines may produce buying opportunities. Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said, “you don’t buy or sell a business based on today’s headlines. If the market gives you a chance to buy something you like and you can buy it even cheaper, then it’s your good luck.”

Ultimately, investors should remain calm and remember that time in the market is superior to timing the market.

Investing in the equity market is a long-term pursuit and is best used to reach long-term goals such as retirement. As the saying goes – a river cuts through a rock, not because of its power, but its persistence.

The habit of investing is one of the best habits you have within your control. Doing nothing and staying the course is still a decision. It is often during these difficult times that we have the greatest opportunity to add value for our clients, acting rationally when others struggle to do so.

(Please contact me if you’d like a copy of Victoria Reuvers’ article)

Have you been offered early retirement? (Part 2)

Following on from the previous blog on considering early retirement, the focus of this conversation sparker is to look at five key things that should be on our to-do list before we make any decisions about our retirement (or any big life decision!).

In his article for Glacier, Dinash Pillay, National Business Development Manager at Glacier, said that there is much for you to consider before you hand in your early retirement notice.

We know that people live longer now than in previous generations, so there is the likelihood that you will live beyond 80. Dinash says that the most important question for people facing retirement, arguably, is: will my retirement savings last as long as me? Before you make any life- or finance-changing decisions, the answers to these questions will inform your decision-making.

When life is overwhelming and we have too many balls in the air – which is common for those in their 40s and 50s – writing down lists helps us to declutter our thoughts and process the emotions before they process us.

Here’s Pillay’s 5-Check offering to help us make better choices around our retirement planning.

Your to-do list before deciding to retire early

  1. Consult a personal financial adviser. If you don’t already have one, appoint a qualified, appropriately authorised financial adviser to help you make some of these decisions. If you do decide to opt for early retirement, there is little room for mistakes or bad decisions regarding investing your money. An adviser’s expertise will go a long way in enabling you to invest and retire with confidence. Also, they are not emotionally attached to your money, so will help you make decisions based on the facts, objectively taking your unique needs, investment risk appetite and lifestyle into account. 
  2. Scrutinise your household budget. This means evaluating every expense incurred in your home – the essential costs of living such as groceries as well as the luxury items such as entertainment. In every budget, there are fixed costs that are unlikely to change, whether you are working or not. An example of this is that you may be paying school or university fees for your children or you might still be servicing debt. Those costs may exist for many more years. So, regular review of your budget is essential. Consider that the monthly income from your retirement fund is likely to be less than your current monthly income. As a retiree, you might be able to save on costs like fuel, but also consider new costs that could be incurred e.g. your private medical aid that previously may have been included as an employee benefit at work. 
  3. Think about who depends on you financially and how long you will have to support them into the future. Your spouse may not be employed; you may still have children at school or university; you may have a disabled child; or you may have unemployed or retrenched adult children whom you support. These dependents have to be taken into account in your planning.     
  4. Know how much retirement savings you’re losing by retiring early. You’d be surprised how much you could lose in savings, even by retiring just two or three years earlier than you originally planned to. 
  5. Decide on how you will spend your time. Taking a dream holiday is one option, but it can only last so long. Many retirees complain about boredom within the first six months into their retirement. They have so much time with few activities to fill it. Perhaps consider creating a new source of income using your skills, or find a hobby, or think about the possibility of volunteering in your community. There are many organisations that serve the needy who could use your skills and expertise. The point is to find a new purpose and to live it with confidence.

The way that we define and refine what retirement looks like will continue to evolve as we move forward, so remember that there is no ‘right time to retire’; it all depends on your personal situation. 

Going back to point one on the checklist is always a great idea!

Source article

A round tuit – and a bit about dread disease cover

There’s a rare object known as a tuit. It’s a special gift to keep for yourself, but also has great value for your friends and family. Tuits, especially round ones, will generally have a note or inscription along the following lines:

This is a Round Tuit. 

Guard it with your life!

Tuits are hard to come by, especially the round ones.

It will help you become a much more efficient worker.

For years you’ve heard people say

“I’ll do that when I get a round tuit.”

So now that you have one, 

you can accomplish all those things you put aside,

until you got a Round Tuit.

It’s easy to put off important decisions until tomorrow. When there’s too much to think about, we’d rather do it ‘when we have more time’; we’ll take care of it when we get around to it. The problem is that all too often we never get around to it until it’s too late.

Taking out the extra insurance before we have that accident, fixing the leak before it rains, finishing a presentation before the deadline… we all have our stories of occasions where we were confident that we’d get around to it – but didn’t.

Dread disease cover is one such conversation that is never easy to have and is often put off until we get around to it; partly because it’s not nice to talk about or spend money on, and partly because it’s fairly complex.

Sometimes called CI cover, dread disease cover is different to disability cover, which protects you and your finances after an accident temporarily or permanently leaves you unable to work. 

In a similar way, dread disease cover is there for when a health setback floors you temporarily or for a longer period of time. From strokes or heart attacks to serious illnesses like cancer, this cover helps you focus on your recovery without having the added stress of loss of income each month just when your medical and associated expenses are skyrocketing.

When the average person thinks of cancer, a tumour or a stroke, they imagine the worst. And no one likes thinking about it… it will never happen to us anyway, right?

But in reality, these things are more common than we realise and are not a death sentence – far from it.

“Statistics confirm there is a high likelihood of contracting a major illness such as heart disease or cancer. And thanks to advances in medical technology, people are more likely to survive these illnesses than ever before,” Old Mutual’s Ferdi Booysen says in insurance publication FA News.

Research shows that one of the single biggest impediments to recovery in any illness (barring chronic mental illness) is stress. Research also shows that finances are one of the biggest things that people are concerned about when ill – a vicious and ironic circle.

And they’re not wrong. There are lots of little unforeseen expenses surrounding illness and hospitalisation. Even if you have an amazing medical aid in place, there will be things the medical aid doesn’t cover. And what about other things you may need, like therapy for you and your spouse after the trauma of a stroke?

With dread disease cover, it’s easier to relax and focus on recuperation knowing that everything is in place. In fact, most CI cover pays out a lump sum so that you can decide what’s important for your recovery journey.

Falling seriously ill or having a health episode is never pleasant, but it is a fact of life – and it needn’t be the end of it. In fact, it can be the start of a whole new one.

Those who have experienced these things with the support of insurance and the ability to focus on themselves rather than being forced to work when physically unable, often describe their journeys as powerful wake-up calls that helped them “get around to it” and improve their lives.

Have you been offered early retirement? (Part 1)

For many years we’ve been having better conversations about retirement. It’s no longer a matter of finding a job, staying in it for 40 years, and then retiring for fifteen years under the assumption that the company pension scheme will finance that entire period for us. 

It simply doesn’t work that way anymore.

Finding a job can take considerably longer; the chances of us staying in one position for more than ten years, saving early (and long) enough and the span of our retirement years have all changed and created new challenges for how we plan our lives and our money.

In a recent article by Dinash Pillay, National Business Development Manager at Glacier, he also highlighted the impact of global lockdowns that have forced thousands of businesses to close or downscale. This has led to an increase in employees, who are a few years away from retirement, being offered early retirement without the usual penalties for cashing in prematurely.

As the article says, this may be an attractive option if you are an employee in your mid-50s. 

However, before you grab the opportunity, make sure you have a robust plan in place. In this blog, we look at the first part of Pillay’s commentary; the next blog post will have a handy to-do list to help with the decision-making process around early retirement.

Retirement needs a plan.

Most people don’t think about their retirement before they are already in it.  Planning is of paramount importance, and financial planning is central to the big decision that you’re facing. 

Here are some questions to answer long before you exit your workplace for good:

  • Have I saved enough during my working years? 
  • Is my employee retirement fund the only retirement savings that I have accumulated?
  • What monthly income will my retirement savings provide after I retire?  
  • Who depends on my income now?
  • Who will depend on me financially into the future?
  • Is the home I own fully paid for?
  • Am I debt-free?
  • I’m healthy now, but what if I get ill or develop a chronic illness or I’m disabled – what do I do then?
  • At work, I have purpose, focus and tasks that fill my day. Will I have a new purpose as a retiree?

It’s important to remember that the basic principle around investing is that the longer we can stay in the market, the more time our money has to grow from the benefits of compounding interest. For most retirement investment plans, the most growth happens in the final few years. Often, but not always, it’s wiser to try and push back your first date of drawing down on your retirement savings.

Everyone is different and it’s best to check with your personal financial adviser when considering these profound life changes. Take a look at the next blog for the checklist of five to-dos before taking early retirement.

Source article

Designing Your “No Rules Retirement”

Our concept of retirement is undergoing a metamorphosis. Demographic, societal, and workplace trends have all converged to offer a stage of life—at mid-life and beyond—that is much more fluid and flexible than we previously thought possible.  

When planning for retirement, we are discovering that the “old rules” have been thrown out and that “no rules” apply.  

Instead of “not working,” retirement has come to mean emancipation, the freedom to choose the activities and pursuits we find the most satisfying and rewarding. In other words, our retirement experience has become a matter of personal definition.

Because of increasing longevity and more active lifestyles, many individuals are viewing this time in life as an opportunity to explore their potential.  

Clarify Your Values & Priorities

Most importantly, creating a No Rules Retirement™ is all about identifying, pursuing, and living in sync with your personal values and priorities. In fact, the greater your understanding of what is important to you, the easier it will be to “paint a picture” in your mind of what you want your life to be like in this stage of life. In addition, the clearer and sharper your vision becomes, the more naturally you will gravitate toward that image. 

In addition, as you purposefully and progressively “make room” in your life for what is meaningful to you, the degree of happiness and fulfillment that you experience will grow and multiply. Therefore, an important mantra for everyone, regardless of age, should be “if it is to be, it is up to me!” To ensure your success, make it a priority to invest in all areas of your life. Always remember that the choices you make on a daily basis are cumulative and will determine the quality of life you experience 10, 20, and 30 years in the future.

Visualize Your Future

A good approach to preparing for your own No Rules Retirement is to first picture yourself at different ages and stages in each area of life. Take time to visualize what you would like to have, do, see, feel, and experience in all of these areas. Draw a picture in your mind of the life you want to have and then continue to build on that image.  

As you visualize the lifestyle and quality of life that you would like to have at midlife and beyond, remember that the secret to realizing your dreams is to maintain a “future focus.” This perspective will not only help you to maintain a positive outlook, but will also require you to acknowledge the influence of choices made today on your life in the future.  

There is a lot of truth to the old saying that “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” As you plan for your future, it is important to envision and articulate the various elements you want to include in your life composition. Whatever you identify and claim for yourself will become the internal compass of your life by consciously and subconsciously guiding all of the big and little decisions you make.

Invest in Yourself

In other words, a truly successful and fulfilling No Rules Retirement experience requires planning and preparation in all areas of life. Remember, health, happiness, and productivity are not blessings bestowed on a lucky few. Instead, they are the result of long-term life choices brought to fruition by the decisions made on a daily basis.  

As you think about your future and the kind of life you want to have, it is essential that you acknowledge the personal accountability aspects of both your current and future well-being. Always keep in mind that the essence of “the rich life” is the freedom to live in such a way as to support your values and priorities. And, in a nutshell, isn’t that truly what designing a No Rules Retirement is all about?

Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, Inc.