Every day, I take a minute to remember all the things I’m thankful for: my health, my family, my “work family” here at U.S. Money Reserve. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to retire (someday!)…but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop working to make my retirement more comfortable or working to make a better life for my children.
You can use your thankfulness as a springboard to work harder for your future.
According to the Social Security Administration, “Currently, the Social Security Board of Trustees projects program costs to rise by 2035 so that taxes will be enough to pay for only 75 percent of scheduled benefits.” In other words, unless something changes, we may not get out what we’ve paid in to Social Security, so we may not want to rely solely on Social Security for our retirement needs.
When I read that news, I’m not let down—I’m motivated. Worrying about something beyond my control won’t help me build a comfortable retirement for myself. Instead, I focus on the good things in my life—those things I’m most thankful for—and then I get to work on the things I can control.
One of the things I’m most thankful for is the opportunity to take my financial future into my own hands. With multiple retirement options to choose from—including a self-directed IRA, which gives the portfolio owner complete control over the asset allocation—we can all build a well-diversified portfolio that addresses our unique financial goals. Knowing I have these options gives me greater peace of mind when it comes to my retirement and leaving a legacy behind for my children.
Hard work may be the secret to a successful retirement.
Thomas Edison was a man who valued hard work and wasn’t afraid to share his opinions. He is credit with saying the following: “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense,” as well as, “The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it goes around wearing overalls, and it looks like hard work.”
There is no one special secret that will help you achieve the perfect retirement. Everyone’s financial goals are unique, which means that everyone’s portfolio may also be unique. But in my experience, the one thing almost everyone needs to achieve a comfortable retirement is hard work. And that’s another thing I’m thankful for—the ability to work hard and to really feel like I’ve earned my retirement.
Being thankful may help you work harder—and working harder may make you appreciate your retirement more.
Just as I look for ways to motivate myself, I’m always on the lookout for better ways to motivate my team. And over the years, I’ve learned two important facts: We all tend to work harder for things we care about; and the harder we work, the more we tend to care about the results. We’re motivated by the things that bring us joy, and we take joy in working for those things.
In other words, as you create goals that will lead you toward a more comfortable retirement, focus on the things that make you happy or thankful. By doing so, you’ll inspire yourself to work harder. Then, as you reach each goal, the internal rewards will continue to push you forward. It’s the exact opposite of a vicious cycle—it’s a motivational cycle that can help us use thankfulness as a tool to work toward a more comfortable retirement.
November is traditionally a time of year when we take stock of all the good things in our lives. This year, I encourage you to also consider the good things to come—with a little luck, a strong work ethic, and a lot of hard work.