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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Positive Retirement Attitude - An Absolute Must!

A successful retirement takes courage, commitment and desire. A client can have an elaborate retirement plan but if he or she doesn’t have the conviction to follow it, the plan is nothing more than words on a page.

For some people, retirement is so overwhelming they consciously or subconsciously sabotage their retirement plan by adopting a negative attitude. They accept the feeling that ‘it’s all over’, that the changes required are too hard and they are likely to fail. They look back at their life remembering the ‘good old days’ rather than welcoming the adventures that lie ahead.

Here are some actions you can take to help clients become more positive!

1. The next step. Help your clients accept reality – their career is behind them. Point out the pitfalls of dwelling in the past and lamenting about the things not accomplished.

2. Regularly review the retirement plan. At every opportunity review a client’s retirement plan - what’s working and what may need changing. Underscore where he/she is successful. The more positive images, questions, implicit beliefs and self-talk that can be created, the more positive the client’s mind-set. If you catch your client drifting into a negative mind-set, stop and refocus on the positive.

3. Associating with positive people. A positive retirement comes from surrounding ourselves with positive people and having the will to keep trying until we get what we want. Encourage your client to seek out and befriend positive people including those considered successful in retirement.

4. Recognizing ability. People with positive attitudes believe with conviction they deserve love and success. Help your clients recognize their ability to create a happy retirement.

Lisa accepts the challenges of retirement. When she left the workforce, her retirement vision was, and still is, to make good things happen. She welcomes each day and treats it as an adventure. As part of her journey she seeks out new people to meet and get to know; she plans one major trip a year, and spends time with her grandchildren. Lisa attends community concerts and often drives in the countryside with her camera looking for scenes to photograph.

Determined to have fun in her retirement, Lisa does it without spending a lot of money. Her zest for life is infectious and her positive attitude makes her delightful to be with. As a result, people gravitate to Lisa and her social circle keeps growing in quality and quantity. Lisa’s assertiveness and confidence continues to build, as does her sense of purpose.

As part of Lisa’s planning, she regularly discusses her retirement progress with her advisor. Together they explore Lisa’s successes and possible changes. Lisa and her advisor have formed an important partnership in her quest for a happy and productive retirement.

Your clients have a choice. Be negative, repel others and look at the future with dread or be positive, attract like-minded people and view the future as a new and wonderful opportunity!

Pairing a well-formulated retirement vision with a positive attitude puts your clients on the way to creating a rewarding retirement lifestyle. As an advisor, you can help them get and stay on the right track.

Richard (Rick) Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is author of the best-selling book, Don't Just Retire - Live It, Love It! Rick facilitates workshops for clients of advisors and others. He is available for speaking engagements. Twitter: @dontjustretire.