One of my priorities over the last 30+ years has been to help people achieve financial independence. My goal is to assist people to get to the point where they know they will be able to accomplish the things that are important to them. At that point, it’s no longer about money. They know that they’ve reached that pinnacle of financial independence and can do the things they want. I believe most people strive to get to that point.

I can’t guess how many times I’ve had people in my office tell me they have $1,000,000 saved up. But, they always wanted to have $2,000,000. I always asked: “Why is $2,000,000 the magic number?”  The answer was always some variance of the same concept. “It’s just the number I always thought I would need to retire.” And because they only have $1 million or $1.5 million saved, they don’t believe they can retire, despite wanting to do just that.

First of all, that number is arbitrary. There’s no manual that says that $2 million will allow you to retire. The reality is that restrictions are defined by how you live your life, and how you can get that $1,000,000 to work for you.  When you put together a retirement plan, you’re designing the recipe for your future.  The resulting number is not solely a number, it’s a representation of how you want to live your life. To me, that’s the most important thing. It makes me sad to think of all the people I have had in my office over the years who had convinced themselves they had to work longer than they needed to work, and they were miserable for years due to failing health or other issues when they could’ve created a supportive financial plan.  

One of my favorite questions to ask people close to or at retirement age is, “If I said you could financially afford to retire tomorrow, would you?” Believe it or not, some people say no because they earn a sense of purpose at their job. However, when you dive into a dialogue about their kids and grandchildren, their career, and what’s important to them, sometimes their priorities are revealed to be something very different than what they originally believed.  For example, I had a gentleman in my office who could afford to retire but he said he didn’t want to retire  because his career gave him a sense of purpose. But as our conversation continued, he began talking about his children, and grandchildren, and how they were his #1 priority. He wished he could go to his grandchildren’s sports activities, but his job didn’t allow it because he managed several employees. I asked him if his career was more important than his family, and he sat there silent for a minute. Why? Because he had never honestly thought about it before. The next day, I received a beautiful email that explained he’d realized how precious life is. We have only so many days on Earth. Time with spouses and grandchildren is limited, and if you can afford to retire, working 40+ hours a week doesn’t seem to make sense anymore. Does that mean everyone should quit working their jobs if they don’t want to? Of course not. However, when goals do not match priorities, it may be worthwhile to see what options are available.

When I design retirement plans based on a person’s or couple’s goals, I make sure that it runs like a finely tuned Ferrari. I want your plan to be tailor-made. You can create your future by the decisions that you make today. 

Could you leave your career tomorrow if you wanted to? Want to find out where you are on your path to financial independence? Go to OFGwealth.com/radio, and click on the button that says, “Start Planning.” When you click on that button, you’ll land inside of the same financial planning software that my advisors and I use for our clients. You can start building your plan from the comfort of your home, and find out where you are on your path to financial independence. As you complete this exercise, you’ll learn how much additional work you need to do to meet your goals. 

This exercise is a beautiful starting point for people to enter their data and then have a conversation with an Osiwala Financial Group Advisor. It’s no more than a 15–20-minute conversation. Whether it’s a virtual meeting, an in-person meeting, or a phone call, people can discover what they’re seeing in the financial planning software, and we’ll help ensure the details are correct. That way, you’ll have clarity about where you are on your journey to financial independence. This helps you determine what work, if any, still needs to be done. 

People want financial clarity.  They want to know where they are, and whether or not they are OK. This is a prioritization exercise that forces you to ask questions like:  What are the essential things in life, and what are the most important experiences to discover and accomplish over the remaining years here on this Earth? Once you’ve determined the answers to these questions, you can measure a dollar figure, and begin to start building your business plan. 

In my experience, the most successful people have always looked into the future. They have pinpointed the essential things in life. Retirement is not about money; it’s about life. Money is just a way to help them do the things that they want to do. Get started on your path to financial independence and go to OFGwealth.com/radio and click the button that says, “Start Planning.” Your future self will thank you.