Are you ready for retirement? People are always asked this question. But I have an even more effective question: What would your retirement look like?
Give me the details. Where will you live? Tell me the exact city, town or region. What will your house be like? How many bedrooms or bathrooms will it have? How much will that house cost?
Now I want to go further. Tell me your retirement story. What will you have for breakfast? What will you do with your Thursdays? Will you volunteer or travel? If you have grandchildren, how often will you meet them? If you end up lucky with some money left over, what do you want to do with it? Does it go to the nieces? Maybe it goes to the local church, school or cat shelter?
In short, what will your future be like?
Most people don’t give themselves the time or permission to ask themselves these questions. We spend most of our time thinking about our past: the successes we’ve had, the mistakes we’ve made, things we might have done differently. We spend very little time thinking about our future.
But it doesn’t matter if you have just graduated from college, are in middle school, or are in the final stages of your work days; Your detailed future fantasies can be a powerful financial tool for planning your retirement, or frankly any goals. I call it the forecast of the future.
First, a warning. I’m not a financial planner and I’m not a banker. I won’t give you financial advice. I am a futurist. What I can do is show you how to think like a futurist and prepare for your tomorrow.
Step 1: Imagine your future
Humans are the machines that believe the story. When we tell ourselves stories about tomorrow, it gives us the tools to truly bring about that future. That’s why the details are so important. They allow you to not only see your future but also understand what life would be like, what it might smell or taste like, even the price and how you pay for it.
Write down your future story as detailed as possible. Expand your imagination. Challenge yourself. The way you change your future is to change the story you are telling yourself about the future you will live in. By imagining your retirement in detail, you have a powerful tool to make that happen.
Step 2: Determine your future force
Now that you know your future story, it’s time to start rallying future forces that will help propel you towards that future. The first thing to do is define Everybody. This could be your partner, family or friends. This is your team. These are the people who will help support you and help you move into the future.
Then tell them the story of your future. Get their feedback. They may have a different idea that can help develop and change your plan. By telling people the story of your future and your retirement, it helps make that future a reality. Your people will also hold you accountable as you keep forecasting your retirement in the future.
The way you change your future is to change the story you are telling yourself about the future you will live in.
Next, you’ll want to explore tools that will help you reach your future. These could be tech tools, like an app to track your finances. But tools can also be websites and blogs that offer consulting organizations and clubs with information or services to help you towards your goals.
Finally, search Experts. These are the people who have achieved the future you have imagined or something close to it. They can also be trained and certified to give you advice on how to move forward. By talking to them, you will continue to develop, modify and change the vision for your retirement. It will also become clearer and easier to achieve.
Step 3: Forecast from the future to the present day
With the story of your future and your future forces, it’s time to turn your head and look back. Standing in the future, friend, look back to today. This reverse forecast will allow you to identify specific steps you can take to reach the desired retirement time.
First, think about what will get you half the way. What can you achieve that will make you feel halfway through your retirement goal? Write it down on paper.
Next split. What will make you feel that you are there? What can you do to make you feel like you’re really heading towards the future you want? Write it down.
Finally, determine what you can do on Monday. Small steps you can take or a task you can take that will make you feel like you are moving into the future in a meaningful way? Write it down on paper.
There is power to write these things down. Seeing it in your handwriting makes it both personal and practical. You will have a plan to consider when life gets busy or you feel a little out of place and need to get back on track. Writing it down also holds you accountable: The future you want is looking back at you and all you need to do is move on.
A powerful tool
Thinking like a futurist can be applied to any part of your life. You can apply this powerful tool to large or small financial goals: It can be helpful when you plan to buy a home or chart your career future or the future of your local community. friend.
As a futurist for the past 25 years, I’ve learned that everyone has the ability to envision, plan, and build his future. The first step is to visualize the future you want. Then it started.
Brian David Johnson was the first futurist at Intel Corp. from 2009 to 2016. He is currently a professor at Arizona State University’s Global Futures Laboratory and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society as well as the author of “Your future: Overcome your fears and build the life you want. Follow him on Twitter @BDJFuturist.