Have you ever tried a new recipe, and, after following the recipe and putting all the ingredients together, found the finished product to be lacking something?  It just doesn’t taste like you expected or it doesn’t look like the Pinterest photo or it isn’t as described by others in the raving reviews for the recipe.  Something isn’t right!

In a recent TV movie my wife and I watched, a small town was putting together a cookbook of the best recipes from residents of the town.  One man contributed a recipe for cookies his deceased mother made and sold in the restaurant she operated for many years in the town.  Everyone was familiar with her cookies. The problem- there was one ingredient in the recipe she listed as “Secret Ingredient.”

To include recipe in the cookbook, the main character in the movie (who was also solving a murder- I know, shocking) had to figure out what the secret ingredient was.  She tried the recipe numerous times with what she thought was the missing ingredient. Using her detective skills, she eventually figured out what was missing, and everyone agreed the cookies now tasted exactly like the original recipe.

In our attempt to bake something, especially a recipe we have not tried, the result isn’t as we expected because we overlooked an ingredient. Oftentimes, it is one of the important ingredients to make the recipe taste just right. Sometimes we simply measured incorrectly or didn’t think an ingredient could make that much difference in the taste.

When planning for retirement, think of your retirement as your new “recipe” for creating the perfect vision of this time in your life. Often, it takes some experimenting to get the mix of ingredients “just right” for your taste.

A successful retirement is made up of equal parts of financial and non-financial “ingredients.”

The financial ingredients that make up planning for your retirement typically involve answering the following questions with the help of a financial advisor: How much do I need to fund a comfortable retirement?  How long with the money last? How will I manage health care costs? When will I begin taking social security?

The non-financial ingredients that I use to create the perfect retirement recipe for clients is including one part of each of the following:

  • Purpose & Identity
  • Values & Beliefs
  • Work & Learning
  • Health & Activity
  • Family & Friends
  • Leisure & Travel
  • Home & Location

The non-financial aspects are often the missing ingredients for a successful retirement.

The key to creating the perfect recipe for each person/couple is that everyone requires a slightly different mix, particularly the mix of non-financial ingredients. This requires figuring out the correct mix of each ingredient for your retirement recipe and experimenting with the recipe before you bake the final product.

What is your “secret” or “missing” non-financial ingredient for your perfect retirement?

If you would like help discovering your secret ingredient and help creating a recipe for a successful Encore, please contact me. I enjoy helping clients create the perfect retirement recipe.