What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Steven B. Goldstein, CFP®, CRPC®, RICP®

Vice President, Private CFO®

What do you want to be
when you grow up? You were probably asked that question many times when you
were a kid.  I always dreaded that
question because I wasn’t one of those kids who had a special talent or somehow
knew they wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, or whatever.  Sure, I dreamed about being a baseball player
when I was little but, as I grew up, I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  Later I dreamed about becoming a rock star (what
teenage boy didn’t?) but it was obvious a musical career was never going to be
in my future. 

So, I was like many kids
and went through school racking my brain to choose a career I would enjoy, be
proud of, and most importantly, would enable me to support myself as an
adult.  I ultimately chose business,
economics, and finance, and here I am many years later working as a personal financial
planner. I am now in my 18th year in this career and I feel
fortunate that I enjoy doing this. 

You may wonder why I’m writing
about this to an audience of adults, some of whom are Baby Boomers and late Gen
Xers in their 50’s and 60’s who are at the later stages of their working
lives.  For people in these age groups,
that question is relevant again (just substitute “work ends” for “you grow

People often seek out
financial planners because they want to know when they can afford to
retire.  Some say they hate their jobs
and are just waiting to retire but, more often, people say they enjoy the work
they do but are looking forward to being able to slow down and be free of the
demands of their jobs. 

This is where it can get
complicated.  The purpose of the
financial plan is to enable people to live the best life possible and can
afford.  Before we can do the math, we must
know the answers to questions such as:

  • How do you want
    to spend your time?  (e.g., work
    part-time, start a business, travel, pursue activities). 
  • Where do you want
    to live?  (e.g., stay put, downsize, move
    closer to children, relocate to a place with a better climate or lower cost of
  • Do you and your
    spouse agree on your plans?

Too often, the answers I
hear are “I don’t know” or “I haven’t thought about it”.  Sure, the first year or two of retirement may
be a “honeymoon” period during which you travel and play all the time, but that
euphoria eventually wears off. Then what? 
We could be talking about 30 years and that’s a lot of time to be filled. 

The bottom line is that it’s
important to have a purpose for waking up each morning at every stage of life.  In the later stages, it’s up to the individual
to find their purpose. Some people want to work part-time or consult in their
field after their career job ends.  Many
don’t.  Regardless, research shows that
people who are the happiest in retirement are those who invest the time and
energy in all aspects of their life: 
having fulfilling relationships, enjoying social connections, making a
contribution in some way, maintaining your health, enjoying leisure activities,
growing as a human being in some way, and incorporating spirituality – whatever
that means to you. 1

1 Excerpt from “The Retirement Challenge: A
Non-financial Guide from Top Retirement Experts”, 2018.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this
commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held
by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is
for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment
advice or recommendations for any individual.

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