20 Minutes a Year

The other day, I read about a poll a financial planning organization did about retirement planning. They asked people how important it was to plan for their retirement. Of course, everyone answered “very” or “extremely”, you would be embarrassed to answer any other way. Then they were asked how much time they spend actually planning for their retirement. The answer should have been surprising but really isn’t:  20 minutes A YEAR!

If we’re lucky, we’ll retire in good health at 65 and live for another 20 years.  Some people may retire with a company pension but, at least here in Canada, there are a lot of people for whom that’s not the case. And really, when someone calls asking questions about retirement planning, what they’re really asking is “Where’s the money going to come from to see you through those 20 years?” And if you’re only spending 20 minutes a year thinking about the answer to that question, either you’re a billionaire or you could be in big trouble.

In The Plan, we talk about the importance of taking a long term look at where we want to be in each of the three life areas, career/business, personal/family and financial. We also say we should treat our lives with the same respect we bring to our work. It’s easier said than done to create the life of our dreams and given then at we humans are funny creatures, we get distracted. We know which things are important and yet, we put them off and put them off. We’re can’t find the time and so, our retirement dreams of winters in the sun, may never happen. Or we keep going to a job that doesn’t fulfill us. Or we stay in debt year after year. We really need to give ourselves and shake and, to switch up an old expression, put our time where our mouth is.