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“It’s Different When it’s YOU.”


Everyone I know, including myself, wants to retire… one day.  And the picture in our minds of what retirement looks like is generally a carefree life of travel and leisure doing things that only and always bring us joy. Over the many years being a financial advisor I’ve discovered one word that actually encapsulates all of it for everyone: Freedom.


We actually want to be able to own our time and do the things we want to do!


For all of these years in our firm, our team has asked people “What does retirement look like for you?” and the answers do not come easily. Most people answer in generalities and have a rough idea of what they want retirement to be, but struggle to define the specifics. I’ve found that when folks actually reach retirement the picture tends to look much different than the “sketch” they’ve had in their minds while working. That’s why we help our Client Family define a plan, and work on it to the end they want to see.


The SDP Team recently celebrated the over fifty-year career of our own Conrad Slate. Thankfully, Conrad is still around and part of our planning process, but not so much in the daily operations of our firm. Conrad, like most of us has looked forward to retiring primarily to spend more time with family and go to places he and Brenda haven’t visited yet. And they are doing it! It’s all part of the plan!


Conrad, I, and Rick are no different from anyone else though. We have our plans and work on them daily. But like anyone, Conrad, (and I have to think myself and Rick included) struggled with letting go of the reigns, and feels the same mild trepidation that comes with such a big life change. Even with a well-thought-out plan, things may not look exactly as we expect when we retire, and it generally has little to do with money or investments. Why? Because it’s different when it’s YOU!


“I’m busier now than when I was working!” is one of the most common phrases we hear, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing! Especially if there was a plan in place and that busy time is being spent doing the things you love and wanted to do (freedom), which for many of us is spending more time with the ones we care about. No matter how we feel when we retire, or what the world, our investments, or lifestyle looks like, spending time with those we love can only be considered a “WIN.” 


Retirement may not feel exactly how we thought it would, or even look like we thought, but if we get more clear on what we want it to look and feel like now and come close to that surrounded by those we love, who could say that’s anything less than a success?