Have you ever stopped to think about what your retirement will be like? You’re not working anymore, you have nowhere that you absolutely need to be, so what will you do to fill your time? Will you be living on a beach somewhere? Or perhaps you’ll be traveling around in a brand new RV, enjoying all the sights you can possibly soak in. Dreaming about your retirement is a good thing, but wouldn’t it be awful if those dreams never came true?

How to Achieve Your Dream Retirement

I want each and every one of you to achieve your dream retirement, and in order to realize those fantasies, you’ll need to take five specific actions. And, in order to stay on track, you’ll actually have to perform these five steps every single year of your life. But hey, you want your dream retirement right? Then what’s five steps a year? If you can complete these five actions each year, then it’s very likely that you will achieve your dream retirement – exactly as you envisioned it.

Step #1: Define the Dream

Dreaming about your retirement is actually the first step in achieving it. More specifically, you have to define what it is that you want. If your dream retirement means that you’re living on a beach, listening to the lapping waves of the ocean, then write that down! In order to achieve your dream retirement, you first have to define it.

Step #2: Put Together a Plan

Example of a retirement plan documentIf you figure that your dream retirement is going to cost you two million bucks, then you had better start putting some money away each month to fund it! If you have 40 years before you plan to retire, then putting away $600 a month will probably get you there (assuming an average return of 8% each year), which is actually doable for many people. If, however, you only have just ten years before your retirement, then putting $600 a month into a retirement fund probably isn’t going to earn you the $2,000,000 that you need for your goal.

If you can’t contribute enough money to earn your dream retirement, then you have two options: 1) Come up with a better way to earn money (ie. a business venture), or 2) you’ll have to go back to step #1 and re-define your dream retirement to something more attainable. Option two isn’t the most fun, but it’s better to realize that your dream retirement is out of reach before you actually start spending the money and run out of it in your old age.

Step #3: Take Action on Your Plan

Alright, so you’ve defined your dream retirement and you’ve set a plan to achieve it. Now it’s time to actually start taking action on your plan. If you figured that it would cost $600 a month to fund your future retirement, then you’ll have to start putting that $600 away into a retirement fund starting next month and do so continually until you walk away from your job later in life. If your plan involved you starting a business to generate a higher income, then you need to brainstorm business opportunities and then get out there and get started! Take action on your plan and you could be living the retirement of your dreams someday.

Step #4: Check Your Progress Once a Year

It sure can be fun to work toward a future goal, but you can’t ever ignore the facts about how well you are tracking toward that dream retirement of yours. If, for instance, you had planned on contributing that $600 toward a retirement fund, but you were only able to contribute $200 a month during that first year, then you need to be real with yourself and take note of how much you are lacking in relation to the goal that you set.

Maybe when you do your check, you find that you have contributed every single dollar as you wanted to and that your investments actually did better than you had planned! This doesn’t happen too often, but it’s a definite possibility. The important thing to note here is that we just need to know where we stand in relation to our action plan. Are we behind or are we ahead?

Step #5: Adjust the Goal/Actions

Once you check your progress, you might realize that you are not on track to live the retirement that you envisioned for yourself. At this point, you might have to adjust your actions in order to get back on track with your goals.

What often happens as well is that your goals may change. When you were 25 years old, you may have had a vision to travel the world in your retirement. But, now that you’re 60 years old with grandkids, you might only want to travel far enough so that you can be with them and squeeze their precious cheeks! When your dream retirement changes, change your actions accordingly as well!

Do you think you’ll achieve your dream retirement? Have you defined what that means for you?

Derek Sall
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