Going to Retire? Data Leads to Wisdom

It is easy to be a success. You see, success is the attainment of a goal, the reaching of a certain standard. You can’t just say, “he is a success”,  or it was “a success”. Success is a personal attainment, an achievement, an accomplishment. Retirement can be “a success”. Are you going to retire a success? How will you know?

One artist sold millions of prints of his artwork and made a fortune, the other finally painted a portrait that he was happy with, but he never sold the painting. Which artist was a success.

One of my favorite stories is “Cottage by the Sea.” I tell my version of the story in video number one HERE. The point of the story is that many of us try to achieve success in retirement and get more involved in the process, in the actual ritual of the process, rather than setting the goal that we want to archive during retirement. A goal should not be a “rich” retirement, but concrete steps that we can check off on a list; concrete goals that we can visualize and know when we attain. In “Cottage by the Sea” our businessman didn’t recognize success, even when he looked at it every day. I may be this man.

I love the book “The Secret“. My friend John Sullivan from BBL bought it for me when I was recovering from cancer surgery and was rather down in the dumps mentally. The cool thing for me that when I read it, I kept smiling, because I have been living The Secret since I was a kid. The Secret teaches us to believe, to visualize, to taste, to smell, to feel the things we want. Planning your retirement is no different. We are a success when we realize these visualizations. It also teaches us to surround ourselves with positive people. I do those things. But not enough.

I write about real estate and retirement. Success in real estate is like success anywhere else. We have to set goals so we can know when we attain them. If we have no goals how can we possibly reach them? Before we set goals, however, we have to go through what I call the data dump stage. Success in retirement may come from reinvention, and self actualization.

The data dump stage is where we gather all the information that we possibly can: the good, the bad, the useless, the opinions, the old stuff, the new stuff, and the trends. Read as much as you can about things to do: health, travel, medicine, volunteering, relationships and finance. When I go through data dump I immerse myself in whatever I am trying to learn so I can distill the information, choose what is important and set some goals. I put all this information I gather in one spot – in the past it was a three ring binder, but lately it’s a folder on Dropbox so I can access it from anywhere and others can work with me in my mission.

As we grow up we are in one big fact finding mission, one big data dump stage. When we retire or change course near the end of our career, we have a great deal of data to draw from. We also do this when we re-invent ourselves. Many of us never stop the data dump, we continue to refine our data, our learning, and then we reset our goals. Goals do not have to be static or unchangeable. But you can’t get to your goal or even change your goal unless you start moving.

Millions of Americans are now looking at retirement in their near future and want to be a success at retirement; it’s kind of their last chance at succeeding. But where to start? In order to set some goals that you can achieve in retirement you will need to go through the data dump stage. At the top of the list of areas for “dumping” are health and housing. How am I going to keep my health and where will I live? Oh, and of course, how will I pay for it all?

When we are young, we are invincible, all knowing, all powerful, and the future is some abstract far distant hazy image – if we even think about it. So of course we didn’t plan for retirement when we were young. But as we get older we start thinking of success as a “comfortable retirement”; a cottage by the sea, or a home near the beach surrounded by caring family and friends. As we get older its no longer as much about the trip as it is about the destination. The mountain home, the dog at our feet, spouse at our side.

Health, Housing, and Money. If you are going to retire, start your data dump, set your goals, then set your path and take a few steps, adjust, repeat as needed. Oh, and if you need help in the real estate data dump – let us help you. Sty tuned for a wealth of data!



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