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Retire in a Weekend

Ed. Note: The following is an excerpt from Retire in a Weekend! The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Making Work Optional. You can catch a sneak peek of Bill's DVD, The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Retiring & How YOU Can Avoid Them, at RetireinaWeekend.com.

Imagine a world free of alarm clocks, bosses, long commutes, office politics and limited vacation time. Wouldn’t it be nice to call the shots, spend more time with your family and friends, doing only those things that you love to do and are passionate about? Imagine having the time and money to do what you want, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, at the time you want, on your terms?

That’s true financial freedom and autonomy, and I invite you to join me and others like you, who crave it badly. You see, I define retirement as making work optional. Regardless of your age or net-worth, it’s about discovering your purpose, living with passion, total self-reliance, transformation and creative self-expression.

My view is not that “Life is too short”, but rather that “Life is too long, not to be doing those things that are fun and rewarding”, and that the majority of people in our society and culture don’t spend enough time examining these issues. I endeavor to help you clarify, simplify and gain control of the big picture of your life.

I firmly believe that if you love what you do, you’ll never “work” another day in your life. I know this for a fact because a few years ago, I stopped “working” full-time for someone else. Instead, I designed a home-based business I love and began “playing” full-time for myself and the private clients I serve.

If you’re like the majority of baby boomers who don’t plan to retire in the traditional sense, and instead plan to re-enter the workforce, downshift into more satisfying and fulfilling careers (even if they’re less lucrative), work part-time or start your own business, why wait? The question I get most is: “Can this be done without jeopardizing my retirement plans?” My answer is a big, resounding YES! Wanna make work optional?

The questions that follow are some of the same questions I ask when assisting my private clients while discovering or rediscovering their goals. I know you want to get to the money stuff, but before we talk greenbacks, you need to have clarity and really know what’s important to you. Remember, money is just a tool to help you get what you want!

So let’s play! Go grab a refreshing drink and a pen or pencil. Then, take a few minutes and answer these questions. Don’t over analyze them; just answer them from your heart (not your head).

1. If money and health were no issue, how would you spend your time?

2. What things in life do you feel are most important right now?

3. What types of activities would you like to participate in that you’re not now? Who would you participate with?

4. If you could, what would you be doing differently now?

5. What major life changes do you see in the next 3-5 years?

6. What would you like your ideal future to look like in 5 years? 10 years?

7. What is your greatest hope?

8. What is your greatest concern?

9. What is your greatest passion? (If you’re not doing this, what is holding you back? Money, time, confidence, experience, etc.?)

10. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Bill Losey, CFP®, CSA, America's Retirement Strategist®, is the resident retirement planning expert for On the Money. He has been named one of America’s Top Financial Planners and is the author of Retire in a Weekend!. The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Making Work Optional. He also publishes Retirement Intelligence, a free weekly award-winning newsletter. Bill can be reached online at MyRetirementSuccess.com.