Contributed by: Matt Trujillo, CFP®
Lately I have been meeting with younger clients, and have been hearing a recurring theme: “Retirement is 20-30 years away and I don’t know that I care too much about how the numbers look at this time.” The first time I heard this, I was a little taken aback…I had always assumed that one of our core jobs was to make sure people were on a good track for retirement.
However, the more I thought about it, this line of thinking isn’t that out of the box. Consider how much the world around us has changed over the last 20-30 years. It is reasonable to think that another 20-30 years from today the world could change dramatically again?
Hearing these clients voice concerns about planning for an event so far into the future, I decided to take a different approach. I decided to focus clients’ attention, instead, on the next five to ten years and what they want their net worth statements to say then. For instance, if you have a negative net worth due to student loan debt, saving for retirement might seem out of the question; but if you come up with a goal to have a specific positive net worth amount ten years from today, it helps refocus your financial plan to something more tangible and meaningful for you and your family. This type of thinking can be very powerful and motivating for clients. The clients I have engaged in this exercise have told me that they get the sense they are working towards something tangible and each year they come in they can really see the benefits of working with a planner.
So if you are under the age of 45, and retirement seems like a lifetime away, consider putting a different spin on the old fashion retirement goal. Approach the problem a little differently. I think you will find that planning in five to ten year chunks can be more manageable and very motivating.
Matthew Trujillo, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Planner™ at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Matt currently assists Center planners and clients, and is a contributor to Money Centered.
Opinions expressed are those of Matthew Trujillo and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.