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How would I set up a financial plan without retirement in mind?

It sounds like a lot of financial advisors focus on retirement planning. How should someone set up a financial plan when they don't know when, or if, they will ever want to retire?

Financial Planning, Retirement, Lifestage Based Planning
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July 2017

Retirement in truth means different things to different people.  My father said he was retired when he reached the point where he only worked when he wanted to work.  Which at that point was almost every day - but he was doing something he loved.  As he grew older, he cut back more and more - but he never retired in the classic sense.  

I would say only about half of the people who I create financial plans for have a firm retirement in mind.  What these people are really looking for is to be in the position my dad was in.  That is to say, they want to achieve financial independence, rather than retirement.  Financial independence means work is a choice, rather than an obligation.  It gives you the freedom of telling the boss to go to hell, if you wish, and know you can live without the paycheck.  It gives you the freedom to start a business, take a sabbatical - whatever you want to do!  

Financial independence is also an important protection against "Murphy's Law".  Many people do not choose their retirement date, but have it forced upon them by circumstance - a lost job, health crisis, family crisis, etc.  Knowing you can survive without the paycheck takes a world of stress off your shoulders in such situations.  

So you build your financial plan based on what will it take to accumulate sufficient assets so that I could maintain my lifestyle without income from work. 

I am located in Bridgewater and Flanders in northern and central New Jersey, if you are seeking a CFP to help with this, I'd be pleased to help.  


July 2017
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