Most working people dream about the day they can finally kick their feet up and retire. Retirement is a time filled with a lot of excitement and dream fulfillment, but it can also be a time of tremendous stress for many people.
Retirement is supposed to be the prize at the end of a long road of working, saving, and planning. Yet, there can be a healthy amount of uncertainty attached to retirement as well.
In his new book, “Retirement Unplanned: An Expert Guide for Navigating the Crossroads of Retirement With Confidence,” CEO and Chief Portfolio Strategist of Cannon Advisors, Bryan Cannon, CFP, has demystified retirement and given people a clear roadmap to a post-work life with less stress and more blissful relaxation and fun. From the very wealthy to those with more modest incomes, Cannon has helped a variety of people navigate the ins and outs of retirement planning.
“The key difference is the small moves made along the way at each crossroad,” Cannon explains. Part memoir, part guide, his book is like having an expert in your pocket to help with decision-making and provide real-world advice along the way.
Going after your “why”
When he set out to write his book, Cannon was aware that there were many other books about savings and retirement on bookstore shelves. He was dedicated to making “Retirement Unplanned” a different kind of retirement book.
“It’s about people’s passions, their dreams, and their ‘why’,” Cannon says. By reaching deep into what a person wants to do with their post-work life and “why” they are going after those dreams, Cannon helps retirees forge better, more personalized plans.
Cannon urges his clients and those who read his book to think outside the box once their working days are over. “You can start exploring opportunities that may feel a little less conventional,” he says.
Perhaps this is moving to a different state and writing a novel, or maybe it’s taking up art. Maybe it’s not stopping work at all, but rather starting your own business. Wherever one’s passion may lead them, Cannon stresses that it is important that people not ignore their “whys,” those things that make getting out of bed every morning worth it.
Cannon suggests that side hustles or business ventures can even help retirees shore up their nest eggs and pay down debt. The extra funds these often provide, he says, can help people feel more financially secure in retirement.
The right time to plan
According to Cannon, there is never a wrong time to plan for retirement. However, people at different stages in their lives may choose to approach planning differently.
Cannon cautions people not to wait to have a retirement plan — even if it feels like retirement is decades down the road. The financial part of retirement planning is made easier (and more fun) by tying in what one is passionate about.
“It’s thinking beyond money,” Cannon says. “Money is important, no doubt, but if you spend your life simply working, and not exploring what truly makes you thrive, retirement will be quite boring.”
The central theme of “Retirement Unplanned” explores the people who are most successful in retirement. Cannon found that it’s typically the people who hone in on their passions who have a greater chance of living fully post-work. The biggest lesson he wants to stress through his book is “Don’t wait!” By getting one’s savings, investments, and debt under control, one can set their mind at ease and allow themselves to dream a little — and explore those all-important passions.
Inspired by real-world accounts
Cannon was inspired to write “Retirement Unplanned” by his clients’ stories — both positive and negative. He has watched technological changes heavily influence retirement planning, and seen how that has enhanced the lives of retirees who have embraced everything technology can do for them in terms of side hustles and passive income.
He has also watched as people failed to plan or failed to see how they could chase passions or extra savings — and be worse off for it. “People should embrace change and technology, and use them to their advantage,” Cannon advises. “Technology opens doors to additional income, but also provides a huge opportunity to explore hobbies and find like-minded people with the same interests and values.”
Cannon is hopeful that the stories he tells in “Retirement Unplanned” will help people form solid plans of their own, as well as allow them to dream a little. “When the alarm clock going off at 6:00 a.m. is no longer necessary, what’s going to inspire you to jump out of bed and take on the day?” Cannon offers.
With a robust and straightforward savings plan, a focus on paying down debt, and room left for dreaming and chasing passions, Cannon is confident that most people can have a positive retirement experience. By knowing where they’re going before they get there, retirees have a much better chance of long-term success after they leave the office or put away their work boots for the last time.