Saving for Retirement - a Commitment to Change

By: Harold L Lowe

Let's take a moment to review what we've discussed so far.

&bullI've stated my position that the reason most paycheck-to-paycheck employees have such a difficult time saving for retirement is because paycheck-to-paycheck employees do not earn enough to live the lives they desire while working and retire to the lives they desire as well.

&bullGenerally, it is not your fault.

&bullEven though the inability to adequately save is not your fault, it is up to you to either continue doing what you're now doing or to take positive actions to improve your life outcomes including more money, if you choose.

&bullTo bring about meaningful changes into your life requires a COMMITMENT TO CHANGE and a PROCESS.

&bullThere are many processes available from the many books, audio CDs, and DVDs on the market created by personal development authors.

&bullIf you have not chosen a process for change from one of those sources, feel free to adopt the one I recommend in these articles that has served me well. I call it The 180 Degree Life.

&bullIf you have adopted this 180 degree life, you should have prepared two lists. One list consists of what you "do not want" in your life any longer, and the other will be a list of things you "do want".

Now I suggest that you put each list onto a separate sheet of paper. Take the "do not want" list and shred it into very small pieces and flush them in small groups down the toilet, making sure that each group of shreds does not plug up the plumbing. You should now begin to focus your attention on your remaining "do want" list as much as you possible can. Lest we forget, somewhere on that "do want" should be your desire of saving for retirement in ways and amounts that truly support the life you want. By the way, those "do not want" thoughts may initially rush into your mind in a volume you've never noticed before. It is as if they know you're about to replace them, and they are determined not to give up their happy home. A word of warning, however. Do not fight nor resist them. Simply observe them briefly, mentally (or audibly) tell them they are no longer welcome, and gently move your focus to "do want" thoughts. Be determined but not confrontational with those "do not want" thoughts. More about this later.

You're probably asking yourself: "Do I really have to do that?" Of course you don't! Here is what this silly little symbolic ceremony meant to me, however. It provided me with a reference point. Whenever one of those "do not want" thoughts crossed the screen of my mind, I would say to it: "You are no longer welcome here. Remember, I flushed you from my life." I would then immediately begin focusing on its opposite "do want" thought.

If your "do want" list is anything like mine was, it is probably a fairly long list. I suggest that you take some time and prioritize it. Take your time. Do not rush. Honor yourself and your desires. The changes you make will be with you for the remainder of your life so give thoughtful consideration to the order of the list.

I think you will agree that nothing I've suggested or described so far is "back-breaking" physical work, nor does this process produce mental stress. In fact it is quite easy to do, which was perhaps my greatest problem. As Jeff Olson said in his delightful book The Slight Edge, "Anything that is easy to do is also easy not to do."

Remember, you do not have to live on less in retirement. No matter where you are right now financially, you can build and enjoy a Million Dollar lifestyle retirement.

Retirement
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