Sport for all so why not an aspirational retirement too

by Blair Vernon

Retirement

20 April 2017

The World Masters Games is about to get underway in our very own backyard. This global event is most well-known for encouraging participation in sport throughout life and its philosophies of competition, camaraderie, friendship and understanding are testament to a desire to live our lives to the fullest - something we Kiwis are particularly keen on.

In life, just like in sport, we only get a chance to win in those ‘games’ in which we take part. So, if we really want to get the most out of life we have to make sure we’re doing the things that enable us to make the most of today (because otherwise what’s the point?) as well as tomorrow. That’s how we’ll ensure that the future we aspire to doesn’t turn out to just be a dream.

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How to keep your Today and Tomorrow happy

Being able to live life to the fullest today and tomorrow requires some effort in the form of sticking to a proper financial plan that provides us with the money for today and the savings for our retirement. We all know this of course – yet, in reality we tend to talk about it a lot, but not actually act on it and, as a result, too few of us are in a position to live the retirement we aspire to.

However, there’s no need to throw your arms up in despair; much better to raise your arms in victory, and that’s always still possible. While it can be challenging to get match fit, it’s not as hard as you might think. Just like a great sports coach a financial Adviser adds value by helping you define your goals and then working with you to develop a plan to achieve them, and we know that most people who use an Adviser make better financial decisions.

Get a money workout

A good financial plan (think of it as your money workout) will not only help you to ultimately achieve your goals, but will also enable you to overcome any ‘financial injuries’ that life may inflict along the way. In the end, it will enable you to get into even better financial shape, just like the athletes in the Masters Games who push through their training and reap the benefits over time.

Some people don’t have a sports coach because they’re not very fit, but that’s a chicken and egg debate. So too is saying you don’t need a financial Adviser because you don’t have money - it’s like saying you don’t need school because you’re not very smart. Working with an Adviser will help you turn thoughts into actions, especially if you tend to put things off, and in most cases you’ll be able to start flexing your financial muscles and see results quickly - you’ll be looking at yourself (and your future) in life’s mirror in a whole different light.

Cross the finish line on your terms

Like any good habit, whether it’s exercising and keeping fit or coming up with a budget and sticking to it, you’re more likely to maintain it and be better off if those practices are engrained early. Having said that, if you’re a late starter when it comes to financial planning it’s never too late to give yourself a shot at crossing the finish line on your terms, rather than meandering over it at 65 years’ old which is the current reality for most of us.

Regardless of your current situation it’s a smart move to seek high-quality financial advice on a regular basis, or when your circumstances change, and we’re lucky that in New Zealand we have a well-regulated financial services industry and access to some of the best Advisers in the world.

Let the dreaming and achieving begin

The unique spirit of the Masters Games will be very much alive and well over the next couple of weeks as thousands of likeminded athletes and onlookers get involved in this hugely exciting global sporting event. Now imagine that same sort of spirit in a financial sense, but amplified thousands of times over, and how it would feel to be surrounded by a nation of aspirational savers living the retirement they’ve always dreamed of.

While that might seem like an unrealistic vision for now, your dreams for the future are probably not. It’s time to dust off your crumpled list of financial goals (it’s probably in the box at the back of your closet next to your old running shoes) and finally go and book in that personal financial training session.

Just like in the world of sport and fitness, when it comes to financial health if you close your eyes and hope for the best, but don’t do anything differently, it doesn’t get any better. The reality is that sometimes we need to make tough choices and may need to try something different. That’s not always easy, but if doing it means a life lived to its fullest and the realisation of an aspirational retirement is the payoff for a life spent working, I say let the dreaming and achieving begin.

Get a money workout

An Adviser can help you get in better financial shape. Make time for a workout and speak to an Adviser today.

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