If you can’t see where you are going, there is little chance that you will hit what is important to you. What if I were to ask you to drive around Silverstone, focusing on the direction you were going? Whilst I am not sure you would be putting in laps to rival Lewis Hamilton, there is a good chance you would make it around the track without crashing. If I asked you to try again, but only looking in your rear view mirror, there is little chance you would make it around the first corner.

Whilst focusing your attention on what you want will massively increase your chances of achieving it, this also applies to focusing on negative outcomes. You have heard stories and seen pictures of someone in the latest Ferrari or Porsche who has wrapped it around the only lamp post or tree for 50 miles. What are the chances of that? When they start go into a spin, the human instinct is to look at the danger, so the driver focuses on the tree they want to avoid. Invariably this means they actually end up hitting it.

What can we learn from this? Leading up to and during your retirement, focus on a plan that delivers what is important to you. First you have to build one! The good news is you have already started. In the exercises you have already done in the previous posts, you have the raw material of this very plan. If you haven’t completed them, or you didn’t write them down, please go back and do it now. After all, if you cannot be bothered to carry out the steps to ensuring you live out a happy retirement, how can you expect to enjoy it?

Let’s start with your Bucket List—the list of things you want to do during your lifetime. You have probably got a good starting point from the ‘Focusing on What’s Important to You’ Exercise.

These items can feel either minor or massive. Don’t worry too much at this stage if either is the case—just get your list written down. You will feel better having a list of items to focus on, whether or not you know how to achieve them.

As a result of the ‘Necessary Income Budget’ exercise, you also have a budget for the reminder of your life, and you can start to put the pieces together. Look at how you might achieve these items, when, and how much they will cost. For this, we need to start to forecast your future, and we will do that by introducing the concept of the ‘Lifetime Cash Flow Forecast’.

Getting older might make you feel like you are slowing down. Do not be fooled into thinking this is cognitive decline, you have so much information in your brain that it takes more time to access it! You can be stronger and happier in your retirement than ever before. Life is an adventure, you can expect change and embrace it. Learn the right time to retire, how to boost your retirement income and create your dream retirement. Follow your dreams and love what you do!

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