When you’re planning for retirement with your financial advisor, it’s important to understand your portfolio’s worth. But it’s also important to figure out another kind of worth— the emotional value of how you use your savings to help make you happy during the next phase of your life.
Is it a new car or the latest technology? Experts studying the science of happiness say no. Their research shows that, while these kinds of purchases offer some immediate gratification, that happiness more often than not evolves into regret as the purchase becomes dated or obsolete. It is experiences with those you love the most that provide deeper and longer-lasting happiness.
And that’s an important thing to keep at the forefront of your mind as you plan for your retirement years.
Before Wescott advisors craft a plan for our clients’ financial security, we first ask what their ideal retirement looks like. What would you do? Where would you go? Together, we brainstorm what life looks like in this next phase. What will truly bring you joy? Perhaps it’s volunteering, or taking the entire family to Disney. The memories you build together will inspire happiness that lasts a lifetime.
Accumulating resources should not be the end objective of a retirement plan. Rather, resources should be looked upon as the means to an end that help clients achieve that which is important to them. As Aristotle said: “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
We’re not psychologists, but it is part of our job as financial advisors to ensure that our clients are keeping their priorities straight by asking them open-ended questions that allow them to reveal the things that will make them truly happy, and then creating a plan around those goals.
Being a financial advisor is part science and part art. In order to work with the numbers, we first must dive deeply into the hearts and minds of our clients to help them figure out what drives them. Retirement planning isn’t just about having sufficient funds to take care of your financial needs for the rest of your life, it’s about creating a lifestyle that allows you the freedom of time and resources to do the things that will make those years a joyous part of your life.