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Saving for Retirement: A Different Take on Discipline

Saving for Retirement: A Different Take on Discipline

| October 11, 2022

Initial Disclosure: This commentary may not apply to you, but I am willing to bet it applies to someone you know and love. So please read it and share…

Most Americans are working towards the stage of financial freedom commonly called retirement. Getting to this destination doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of paycheck at a time. It takes a little bit of wisdom, some guidance, and a lot of discipline.

The problem is that most of us figure this out too little too late. We find ourselves making drastic changes in the last hour to get there. As a result, maybe that dream of financial freedom during retirement doesn’t quite look like what we thought it would.

So, why is this? Is it the lack of wisdom? Is it the lack of guidance? Or is it the lack of discipline? Or is it a combination of all of the above?

As our friends at Strategic Coach always say: “All progress starts by telling the truth.” The most important person you tell the truth to is yourself. The reality is that most of us as Americans share two very important truths in answer to the questions about retirement:

Truth #1… Someone along the way probably told you the importance of saving as much as you can.

Truth #2… You know someone, or you know someone that knows someone, where you could seek financial guidance.

Which leaves one answer to the question. It is probably the lack of discipline that leaves us short of our dream of financial freedom.

Sigh… I know. This is discouraging, perhaps even a little offensive, but again, all progress starts by telling the truth. So let me offer you some comfort on that front - you aren’t alone. Every one of us faces this same challenge, in all aspects of our lives.

Why do so many of us set a New Year’s Resolution to get fit, buy a gym membership, and quit going before January is over? Why do we overeat? The answer to these questions is the same reason some people don’t keep a budget and end up overspending. It takes a lot of effort to develop new habits and throw out the old. And if we see it, we want it.

Truth #3…We are all a little broken.

Now what?

The good news is you don’t need duct tape! Consider this retirement strategy:

John receives only a few monthly deposits in his checking account that he lives off. Everything else stays in the background working for his future. He may consume what he sees, but it’s okay because that is part of his retirement plan. And you can do that very same thing today. Your checking account doesn’t need to see what you make. It only needs to see what you need.

Doing a little restructuring could allow you to pay yourself first and really work at this thing called financial freedom.  The only thing missing is a plan to get there. And lucky for you, that is where we come in. We’re here to equip you with the wisdom and guidance needed for a successful retirement...the last part, discipline, is on you. You can either keep saying that you will change someday—get a budget and develop good habits. Or you can tell yourself the truth and put a plan in place to work towards financial freedom! If you want to have a conversation about different retirement planning strategies for your unique situation, we’re just a phone call away.