Retirement readiness – where do I start?

Byron MooreMoore for your Money



Question: I don’t know exactly when I want to retire, but I think it will be within the next ten years. I just don’t know where to start figuring this out. Where do I start getting my stuff ready for me to retire?

Answer: According to Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

That’s the gist of my first suggestion to folks with their eyes set on retirement: take a close look at your life now. What aspects of your life do you want to keep, what do you want to change and what do you want to do away with altogether?

Start with the first big question: “What is my current lifestyle?”

That question includes financial matters, but is not only (or even most importantly) financial. What aspects of your life today are either enjoyable or meaningful? Is it reasonable for you to continue those things in retirement? Or even increase them?

Joe and Wanda enjoyed serving people and keeping busy. Joe’s job was not his first love, but he did it well for 40 years until he retired. Then for the next 15 or so years, Joe and Wanda hit the road in their travel trailer, living a few months at a time in locations they enjoyed. Every place they visited, they found a local food bank and volunteered their time. They packed, sorted, loaded, served and had a blast doing it.

For them, they found the sweet spot of pleasure and purpose in their retirement years. It was their ideal life.

If you can figure out what you love to do now and with whom you love to do it, you can get an idea of what you’ll want to do in retirement.

Maybe you’ve noticed that I haven’t brought up money yet. It’s not because money isn’t vitally important in retirement – if the unexamined life isn’t worth living, the unfunded retirement isn’t even possible!

But money isn’t where you start. If you start there, you may end up with a well funded, unhappy retirement. Is that what you want?

So take the time up front to inventory your life. Determine what aspects you want to do away with and what aspects you want to keep, or even magnify. This won’t fit everyone, but let me suggest two areas for consideration: enjoyable activities and enduring purposes. This was the pleasure and purpose sweet spot of Joe and Wanda’s retirement.

Once you have an idea of what this might look like, we can then attach a price tag to everything. What will these activities themselves cost (if anything)? And what other costs will you have that are just part of living – bills, groceries, transportation, medicine, etc.

Your retirement plan should definitely include financial things like a budget, insurance, sources of monthly income and safety nets for unexpected emergencies.

But that’s not where the plan starts.

It starts with an examination – of what you really want out of your life during retirement.

Byron R. Moore, CFP® is Managing Director / Planning Group of Argent Advisors, Inc. Write to him at 500 East Reynolds Drive, Ruston, LA 71270 or call (318) 251-5800.  This newsletter is available via email on a free subscription basis. You can subscribe by clicking here. Direct any questions, comments or suggestions to Byron Moore at or to Mike Jones at
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Argent Advisors, Inc.), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.
Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  The opinions of any single advisor do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Argent Advisors, Inc. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Argent Advisors, Inc..  To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.
Argent Advisors, Inc. is a registered investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Argent Advisors, Inc. is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.  Argent Advisors, Inc does not offer tax, legal or insurance advice. If you are a Argent Advisors, Inc.  client, please remember to contact Argent Advisors, Inc., in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services. A copy of the Argent Advisors, Inc.’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request.


Argent Financial Group

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, Argent Financial Group (Argent) is a leading, independent, fiduciary wealth management firm. Responsible for more than $30 billion in client assets, Argent provides individuals, families, businesses and institutions with a broad range of wealth management services, including trust and estate administration, investment management, ESOPs, retirement plan consulting, funeral and cemetery trusts, charitable organization administration, oil and gas (mineral) management and other unique financial services. Headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana, Argent was formed in 1990 and traces its roots back to 1930.

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