This past week, I had a very revealing and important conversation with a Relaxing Retirement member who lost her husband a few years ago. While protecting her identity, I’d like to share a key part of it with you.
The reason for her call was to find out if she could “afford” to hire a landscaper to not only cut the grass, but to take care of her plantings and keep her beds free from weeds. She’s been doing this for years, but it has reached the point where the upkeep is stressing her out, and it is preventing her from scheduling anything into the future.
Respectful of the terribly sad nature of the position she’s now in after losing her husband of more than thirty years, what made her question so interesting is that she asked the question in the first place. Having worked together to design their Retirement Blueprint for years prior to her husband’s passing, I know that she can not only afford to hire a really good landscaper to do everything, but because they did such a good job building their Retirement Bucket™ of investments, she can afford to virtually double her total annual spending if she chose to without negative impact!
Given this, why is she asking the question? Well, this is a great example of the phenomenon we’ve witnessed for many years, i.e. the strong earning and saving habit force developed by a tiny percentage of Americans during their decades long working lives is hard to break! For the dedicated saver, “Flipping the Switch” to spending what you’ve saved is hard. “It just feels weird” is the comment we hear most.
She has conditioned herself to feel as though she “should” worry because that’s what they’ve always done. While that was valid for years, and it served them very well, she has earned the right not to have to sweat this anymore. Like the countless members I have similar conversations with, she simply needed to have this reinforced with facts before she confidently moved forward without guilt or the feeling of being reckless.
Altering 40+ years of habit is challenging. Confidently flipping the switch from saving what you’ve earned to spending what you’ve saved so you can live the life you’ve earned requires being in regular contact with your numbers so you can make educated and rational decisions based on fact vs. your conditioned opinion.
Get in touch with your numbers right now!