Jason and Emilia talk about retirement as a goal and some questions you should ask if you are getting ready to retire.

1.) Have I saved enough?
2.) How much do I spend?
3.) What are the risks to avoid and the opportunities to capture?
4.) Am I retiring from something, or to something?
5.) How do I envision retirement?
6.) What am I not thinking about that I should be?

Below is the full transcript:


Announcer:  Welcome back, America, to Sound Retirement Radio where we bring you concepts, ideas, and strategies designed to help you achieve clarity, confidence and freedom as you prepare for and transition through retirement. Now here is your host, Jason Parker.

Jason:  America. Welcome back. Welcome to 2017. I’ve missed you. Yes, I have. I know you’ve missed me, and I appreciate you guys reaching out. I have to tell you it’s been refreshing. A little bit invigorating. I wanted to take a little bit of down time the end of December, first part of January, just to get my mind straight. Get my mind clear. Make sure our priorities were good, and really focus on making the radio show better for 2017, so we’re going to be bringing some amazing guests as always onto the program. Today it’s my good fortune to have Emilia Bernal on the program with us. Emilia, welcome back. It’s been a while.

Emilia:  Thank you. Good morning. It has been a while.

Jason:  Good morning.

Emilia:  Glad to be here. All right, so what is our topic today, Jason?

Jason:  Oh, well this is episode 120, and it’s about goal setting, and partly because it is January, and so people may be starting to fizzle a little bit, but also because it’s something that I do every year, and so I thought I’d just kind of share the process that we go through, and some of the things I’ve learned.

Emilia:  Great. Jason, do you have a new year’s resolution this year, or what are your goals I guess I could say the same.

Jason:  New Year’s resolution?

Emilia:  Don’t we all have one of those every year?

Jason:  Yeah, so my New Year’s resolution I actually do, and so for 2017 actually I have two New Year’s resolutions. Number one is no more bad jokes on the radio show for 2017.

Emilia:  All right.

Jason:  Then my second one was I’m going to fail at my new year’s resolution as quickly as possible, so that I can count this year as a success.

Emilia:  All right. Let’s get started.

Jason:  All right. Let’s make sure this year starts out right. Emilia, why do chickens sit on eggs?

Emilia:  Why do chickens sit on eggs? Well, I’ve only known it so that they can hatch their eggs.

Jason:  No, because they don’t have chairs.

Emilia:  Oh, my. Well, I thought I had that one, but it didn’t seem like a joke answer, so I guess that makes sense.

Jason:  I almost forgot too, I always like to start the morning right by renewing our mind. I have a verse here for our listeners. It’s first Peter five verse six. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time.”

 All right, that’s awesome. Okay, so but seriously this episode I do want to talk about goal setting, Emilia, so let’s just dive right into this episode 120.

Emilia:  Goal setting. How do you go about goal setting, Jason?

Jason:  Yeah, so every year for the last couple of years I’ve done this a little bit differently. Two years ago me and a group of a couple of friends got together. We went out and had a little retreat. Went out to a resort, and we just spent the day out there. We rented a conference room, and we actually used Michael Hyatt’s best year ever program. For those people that don’t know Michael Hyatt, has a podcast, bestselling author, he does some great stuff, and he came up with a program called best year ever. Two years ago we did that, and I always like to have a platform to work from, or a structure to work from instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, and so Michael Hyatt has accomplished some pretty amazing things.

 Two years ago we did his, and then this year we did it a little bit differently. We actually got together at the same resort. We had a few more people there. I think we had six people there this year, and we followed Darren Hardy from Success magazine. He’s got a book that he’s put out called Living Your Best Year Ever. We went through that guide, and that’s what we did was we followed a proven structure for goal setting, and just starting to lay out a platform for what we wanted 2017 to look like.

Emilia:  Great. That sounds great. What were some of your key takeaways or a-ha moments from this year’s goal setting meeting?

Jason:  Yeah, well I want to share some of these things because it’s really a lot of fun I find going through this process, but I want to encourage people if they go to success.com, this is from Success magazine, Darren Hardy there. It’s called Living Your Best Year Ever, so they can actually pick up this book and go through the exact same process. One of the first steps was to do a year in review, and you’re giving an exercise to write down 10 things that happened last year that were really kind of cool, and initially we are all sitting around the table, and we’re struggling with trying to think what happened last year? I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning let alone all last year.

 What I did was I picked up my phone, and I started flipping through all of the pictures from 2016, and that was such a great, great reminder. In fact, it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years, is every year just sit down and do almost like just a photo book of what my year was so that I always remember these things. As I started going through those photos I realized, boy as a family we just did so many cool things. Had so many wonderful experiences, so that was a big aha moment. That was a really cool exercise was to just look back at 2016, and just be grateful for all these wonderful life experiences that we had.

 Another powerful exercise was you had to distill down into one word how would you describe last year?

Emilia:  One word?

Jason:  One word to describe last year and that was hard. That was really hard to do to only put one word down, but I did it.  I’m not going to share my word with everybody, but that was interesting. The next step was we talked about gratitude, so before we start talking about the things that we’re looking forward to trying to achieve in 2017 we just want to be grateful for every opportunity that’s come our way in the past year, and so took some time to just really be grateful for the relationships and the people and the opportunities that have come into our life.

 Then what was really helpful about Darren Hardy’s process and the success Living Your Best Year Ever was that he has you do a life assessment before you start setting goals for the New Year. Which I’m really grateful for, and that’s something that I hadn’t done in years past, but the life assessment has you go through all these different areas of your life and say how do you score? How do you rank before you start setting goals? What was interesting there, because I’m very business oriented, and as a financial advisor you would imagine that those two areas of my life, business and finance, are ranked very highly for me in terms of this life assessment wheel.

 What I realized going through that were that number one, lifestyle was not ranked very high, and physical fitness, physical well being was not ranked very high. They ask questions like how do you sleep. What I realized, I mean, I get some exercise. I like to run, and I run probably 12 miles a week or so, so I was getting some exercise, but doing almost no strength training. Almost no stretching. Sleep was not a priority. Then from a lifestyle standpoint I think it’s easy for me at least to focus on business and finance. Those were the two areas I scored the best, so before I started setting my goals for 2017 I was like, oh life’s a little out of balance here.

Emilia:  Yeah.

Jason:  I just need to make sure that as we’re setting goals they’re smart and that they’re in line with having a good life and not just a good financial statement.

Emilia:  Absolutely. What were some of the goals you had last year?

Jason:  Well, I’m glad you brought that up because I like to brag a little bit. I set maybe too many goals last year. Somebody once said, they said, “Hey, if you aim for the stars and you hit the moon you’re doing okay.” I set 12 goals for myself last year. Some of the ones that I accomplished were I ended up running 12 miles per week which was good. I attended some one on one coaching for this career that I’m in, in terms of trying to be a better advisor and help people. I attended my men’s Bible study every Wednesday throughout the year which was a big accomplishment, and that was important to me. Last year was kind of my year of mentor, so I just really wanted to surround myself with people that I felt could help get me to the next level.

 One of the things I attempted was Cross Fit, so I hired a coach. He was a running coach. He was a Cross Fit coach, and unfortunately I didn’t finish that goal. I ended up injuring my shoulder, so after that injury I just decided, well I enjoy running so much it’s just easy for me to go back to running, but that was one of the goals I did not accomplish for last year. The idea was to have coaches and mentors in different areas of my life to make it better.

 You know, Emilia, as we talk about life, as we talk about goals, because we’re going to get into retirement. Sound retirement radio is all about retirement and having a better life and having a better retirement, but you know life is not designed. We were not designed to do it all alone, so that was one of the things one of my big a-has’ was just, you know, find people that have achieved a level of success greater than me in different areas of their life. Have more knowledge than me in a different area of my life, and just be humble, and say you know more than me, so be coachable. That’s hard to do.

Emilia:  That’s great. Well, did you have any more goals you wanted to share because I had a question to make sure.

Jason:  No, you know, those were some of the goals. Like I said I set 12. Of the 12 I achieved one, two, three, four, five.

Emilia:  That’s what I was about to ask.

Jason:  Six. Six. I achieved six of the 12 goals.

Emilia:  Well, that’s, hey, most people don’t even set a goal. This is my first year I’m going to attempt thanks to your help, but that’s great. Six out of 12. That’s 50%

Jason: 50%. Yeah. I got a big F if I was in school.

Emilia:  Well, if you look at it that way.

Jason:  I don’t. You know, the reality is if I had set no goals I would have accomplished 100% of nothing.

Emilia:  That’s true. Very true.

Jason:  I would much rather accomplish 50% of something than 100% of nothing.

Emilia:  Yeah.

Jason:  One of the things that I did I think was helpful from a goal setting standpoint was I printed my goals out. I numbered them one through 12, and I hung them on my wall right in front of my desk where I sit every day, so that I had to remind myself what was really important to me, so I was staying focused. Then the other piece that I think was really helpful, and this is that gets back to the relationship component. Doing life together with people, is that I meet with a group of guys every Friday morning early in the morning, and that’s just an accountability group. It’s just an opportunity to talk about hey this is what you said you were going to do. How are you going to do it? When you’re the president of a company sometimes it’s hard to get people that will be completely honest with you and hold you accountable because employees sometimes they tip toe around things, and they don’t want to rock the boat sometimes, so to have a group of peers, other men that I can meet with that say, “Hey, listen Parker, shape up here, buddy. You said this is what you’re going to do now get to it.”

 You know, that’s good. I think accountability and relationships are the most important thing for life because without relationships life is kind of a drag.

Emilia:  Well, that’s great. It sounds like you have a lot of things going positively for you.

Jason:  Now, wait a second. Before we get off.

Emilia:  Yes.

Jason:  You said that you’re thinking about setting some goals this year. What are you-

Emilia: Oh, gosh.

Jason:  Have you and Reuben actually sat down?

Emilia:  Don’t you remember my first goal was to be more goal oriented? Was what I said, so we have. We’ve set some goals as far as budgeting. Sticking to things like that. Staying in contact with family on a regular basis. I told him even if we have to schedule that time during the weekend.

Jason:  Wow, that’s great.

Emilia:  Yeah. Just on Sundays we call someone on his side of the family or we call someone on my side of the family. Do some Face Time, and just keep in touch more. It’s usually just around the holidays, and I thought that was really important since we’re so far away.

Jason:  Yeah, so and you guys do Face Time. You actually jump on so you can see the folks you’re talking to.

Emilia:  Yes, and with technology nowadays it’s like they’re right there, and so it’s a lot of fun. Yeah.

Jason:  How does that impact you? How does that make you feel being able to have that time with your family?

Emilia:  It feels really good. I just Face Timed with my dad yesterday, and sometimes it can be almost an hour.

Jason:  Is that right?

Emilia:  Just talking to him. Yeah, and it feels really good because I miss that relationship, and having my family close by, so it’s just something-

Jason: Our listeners may not know, Emilia, you’re new to Washington state. How long has it been now?

Emilia:  I am. It will be two years this February.

Jason:  Two years this February.

Emilia:  Yeah, and right now this weather has got me wanting to go back home.

Jason:  Home is?

Emilia:  In New Mexico.

Jason:  New Mexico. Do you guys actually see sunshine there in New Mexico?

Emilia:  Oh, like 365 days a year pretty much. Even if it rains the sun will clear at some point during the day. It’s great.

Jason:  That’s great. That’s good.

Emilia:  I just wanted to follow up, so speaking of goals, what do you think of retirement as a goal?

Jason:  I thought about that, and I think that there’s … I know that there are a lot of people that listen to this show that probably have that as a goal for 2017. The one thing I would say, a couple things I’d say, I think it’s an awesome goal to have first of all. I mean, people have worked their entire lives sometimes with that as the end point. It’s kind of like I want to get this much money saved, and have this much stuff paid off, so that I can go live the life I’ve always wanted to live. I think that’s a good goal. I think you need to be careful to make it not a destination, but a starting point because you don’t want to think of retirement as I got there now what?

 One of the things I always want to encourage people to think of is I’m not retiring from something, but I’m retiring to something because if retirement is our only goal, if there’s no vision beyond just that end date all of a sudden you hit it. You’ve got the money. You’ve got no liabilities, no debts, and all of a sudden maybe meaning starts to slip in or relationships start to fall apart because there hasn’t been good communication over the years, and so just be careful about having it as an end point. I think retirement is a great starting point for a life that you’ve always wanted to live.

Emilia:  That’s great, because I know you always start off your retirement plan by asking questions, and you talk a lot about questions lately, so will you share some why this is important to you when it comes to retirement?

Jason:  You know, I love the person that can bring me a good question that makes me just think and think and think and come up with the answer rather than somebody that just gives me the answer. In fact, usually it’s not as meaningful to me. My mentor Dean Schennum who passed away last year, it’s one of the things he taught me because there were several times I went to Dean with questions. Really important questions. Life questions. Dean was not one to give me answers, and looking back … At the time it was really frustrating for me because I just wanted the guy to give me a stinking answer, you know? Do I go this way or do I go that way? He wouldn’t do it.

 He taught me how to ask questions, and recently in my men’s Bible study that I’ve been in we’ve been talking a lot about Jesus, and he asked a lot of questions, and some of them were really obvious questions like he comes across these two blind men, and they say, “Hey, we want your help.” And he says, “Well, what do you want me to do for you?” It’s obvious, you know? They’re blind. They want to be able to see, but Jesus he asks the question first, and I think there’s something really important that comes in asking, and asking a good question, and really being able to ask a better question about what’s most important to you.

 Sometimes, Emilia, I’ve learned that I can keep asking the same question over and over and over again, and I can get stuck on it. There have been a couple of questions in my life that I’ve been stuck on for years, and so I think at some point people need to say I got to ask a better question. I don’t need to keep beating this thing over the head. You know, at some point you just got to get off the stinking fence and make a decision.  Either I’m going this way, or I’m going that way, but you know make a decision. Feel good about it, and do the research and the due diligence, so that you feel confident in the direction you’re moving.

Emilia:  Yeah, so are there some specific questions that you like to focus on when it comes to like getting ready to retire and what that should look like?

Jason:  I’ll share with you some of the questions that I hear frequently from people that we serve. Number one question is have I saved enough? Everybody has the question. I don’t care if you saved $10 million. People have the question have I saved enough because what happens is the more money we save, the more money we spend. The more money we save the better our lifestyle expectations. The more money we save, my friend Steve says that, how does he say it? The wants of yesterday become the needs of today. We go on better vacations, we do more things for our family, we drive nicer cars, we live in bigger homes, we pay more property taxes.

 I mean, all these things come along with have I saved enough, and I’ve met the people. I’ve worked with the folks that have saved $10 million, and when you’re spending 4 or $500,000 a year you are worried that, you know, have I saved enough? I’ve met with people that have saved $250,000, and when they’re spending 5, $6,000 a month they’re worried have I saved enough? Is it going to last? That’s probably the number one question people have is have I savored enough, and I have to say one of the things I’m excited about.

 A couple of things. First of all, we’ve got a webinar coming up on retirement planning, so if this is a goal for people we want them to know that there’s a webinar that they can go to soundretirementplanning.com. They can sign up, and we’re going to go through just some of the nuts and bolts basic foundation, fundamentals. Let’s make sure from a planning perspective you’re thinking this through. That was one thing, but the other thing is one of the reasons we’ve had a little bit of time out here from recording the program is I have this software that we’re developing right now that’s going to be available to people.

Emilia:  Exciting.

Jason:  Yeah. The beta version is coming up the end of January. We’ve been putting a lot of work into this, and I think it’s really going to help people’s lives.  I’m not going to share what that is yet, but I am really excited because I think it’s just going to be able to help so many more people, and something they can use and use on their own without having to talk with anybody. I know there’s a lot of people out there that like to do things on their own, so I’m really excited about that. I think it’s going to be a game changer for retirement planning.

 That was one question that a lot of people ask. The next question that I think people need to ask that they don’t is how much do I spend?

Emilia:  I don’t think I ever ask myself that question.

Jason:  It’s especially true for people that have good incomes, and people that tend to be higher net worth because they never really had to track their spending because they’ve just always had enough, but when it comes to retirement, and for some people a budget is a dirty word, but for some people if they don’t know how much they spend it’s really impossible to say whether or not you’ve saved enough. Doing a good accounting, spending six months before you retire just using a tool like mint.com or something that just can track all of your spending to say where’s all my money going, and really get a handle because I know when I went through this exercise, me and my wife we update our budget every couple of years. When I initially went through this exercise I was amazed at how much money the local grocery store was getting.

 While we only update it every couple of years we are very focused. I am kind of old fashioned in the sense from a budgeting standpoint. We still do the envelopes. The envelope system. That’s a good question. I think one of the questions people should be asking are what are some of the risks to avoid and opportunities to capture? What are some of the risks to avoid and opportunities to capture? Risks to avoid right now might be people, you know, if they’re just getting ready to retire, the stock market has had an incredible run up. It’s at prices that have not been sustainable in the past, so maybe they’re one of the risks to avoid is having too much market risk in a portfolio. Opportunities to capture may be taking the time to understand social security. How it works.

 Maybe it’s understanding how health care works in retirement, and especially if you’re going to be retiring early how are you going to be paying for those health care costs? Opportunities might be, you know, we’re going to retire, and we want to take our whole family on a cruise to Hawaii, and we want to spend that time with them, or just thinking more about the time that you have. I met with some folks recently, and they said, “Jason, we …” They’re already retired. They’ve been retired for a couple of years, but they said, “Jason, we don’t spend a whole lot of time looking out really far into the future. We’re just trying to make the most of every day that we have right now. Bring a little bit of happiness and joy to people’s lives.”

 I actually had two people tell me that exact same thing yesterday who are already retired.

Emilia:  Good advice then.

Jason:  Yeah, it’s always great to learn from the people that are already there.

 Another question. Am I retiring from something or to something? We talked a little bit about that. Am I just retiring because I want to get out of digging ditches or making power point presentations, or am I retiring to something because I have this next life, this next stage of life that I’m excited about taking care of them, you know, spending time with my grandkids, or traveling around the world. You know, just getting to some of the projects around the house you’ve always wanted to do.

Emilia:  I like that question. I never thought about it that way because I would think of retirement just because you want to get done with something. I never thought about to move on to something.

Jason:  Retirement is a starting point.  It’s not an end date.

Emilia:  It is. Yeah, you’re right.

Jason:  It’s the next most exciting, freeing time of your life. Hopefully it is. As long as you have that confidence going into. Now, this next question came from my friend Dean, my mentor Dean, and he felt like this was the most important question you could ask, and he said, “How do you envision your retirement?” I think that’s a wonderful question because it forces you to paint a mental picture in your mind, and anytime you can get that clear about a vision for the future, good things happen.

Emilia:  Yeah, that will lead you to your something to retire to.

Jason:  Yeah, you don’t want to go into it without a clear vision of what’s important in your life and what you’re moving toward. Then the last question I had was what am I not thinking about that I should be? We hear that from a lot of folks, too. They’ll say something like, “Jason, we want to avoid any land mines. We’ve never retired before. This is our first time doing it, and we just want to make sure there’s not something that we haven’t thought about that we should be thinking about.” They want to know how do they stress test different scenarios, different assumptions. What if somebody dies? What if somebody needs long term care? What if there’s inflation? What if there’s poor market returns?

 I mean, from a planning perspective in terms of getting the numbers right I think that’s kind of some of the nuts and bolts. That’s what we’re going to be talking about on our webinar that’s coming up. Those are I think a good starting point. We’ll list all these questions on the website Sound Retirement Planning, so if people want to go back and actually start answering some of these questions for themselves that would be a good place to go.

Emilia:  Great guideline. We know that a lot of people search Google for the following phrase, how do I overcome the fear of retirement? How do they overcome that fear?

Jason:  That’s a great question, and Emilia, we’re almost out of time, so I’m not going to get to spend as much time on this one as I wanted to, but I do know that the tag line of my book is clarity, confidence, and freedom. That’s ultimately what we want people to experience more of. I don’t think that people ever find that in money. Money does not provide more clarity, confidence and freedom. If anything the people I know with the most money have the most problems, so don’t think that having more money is the solution to the problem. It certainly helps to have money, and I’d rather be the guy with the problem of having too much money then the guy that doesn’t have money and doesn’t know where to get it.

 In the retirement planning webinar that we’re going to be doing, we’re going to be talking more about some of the pitfalls, some of the planning that can help people have a greater sense of confidence.

 Emilia, with that we’re out of time.

Emilia:  All right.

Jason:  Until next week, everybody thanks for being here, and I look forward to talking to you again. This is Jason signing out.

Announcer:  Information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate and complete for general information only, and should not be construed as specific tax, legal, or financial advice for any individual, and does not constitute a solicitation for any securities or insurance products. Please consult with your financial professional before taking action on anything discussed in this program. Parker Financial, it’s representatives, or its affiliates have no liability for investment decisions or other actions taken or made by you based on the information provided in this program. All insurance related discussions are subject to the claims paying ability of the company. Investing involves risk. Jason Parker is the president of Parker Financial, an independent, fee based wealth management firm located at 9057 Washington Avenue Northwest, Silverdale, Washington. For additional information call 1-800-514-5046, or visit us online at soundretirementplanning.com.