Do You Know ‘Your Number’?
You may not have ever thought about it or never realised it, but we all have ‘a number’. Not just any number, but a number that just happens to be the most important number you will ever need to know. So what exactly is ‘your number’, what does it mean and how do you calculate yours?
Financial planning is about a lot of things but mainly it is about you and your lifestyle; where do you want to be, how do you want to get there and what options are open to you along the way?
Ultimately, your life will have a destination. For many people, this is a comfortable, fun and fulfilling retirement.
Many people will tell you they plan to retire at 65 because they feel this is the age ‘most people retire’ but what if they could retire at 60 or even 55 and still have the lifestyle they wanted?
This comes down to knowing ‘your number’.
Your number is the amount of money you will need for the rest of your life in order to maintain your current lifestyle – or to start living and enjoying the lifestyle you aspire to.
Your number is the amount you will need to ensure that you can do all of the things you want to do, without the fear of ever running out of money. Quite simply, it’s the answer to the question: How much is enough?
Once you know your number, you will know how much money you need to be completely financially secure – to have achieved ‘financial independence’. When you know this, you can stop worrying about your future and live life to the full. Your number will bring you confidence, clarity and security.
Your number is a goal – a target. Once you know it, you can start putting a plan in place to achieve it. Maybe you can get there much sooner than you realise. Maybe you can give up work and enjoy life before you get too old or maybe you need to work a couple of years longer than you think so you have complete peace of mind throughout your retirement.
Many people retire with too little and live a life of worry and stress in their latter years, but others may end up retiring with ‘too much’. In other words, they could have retired and done the things they enjoyed many years earlier if only they had known their number.
Ultimately, there are three aspects to knowing your number.
The first is thinking about your lifestyle and the way you want to live for the rest of your life.
The second step is to work out how much money you need to afford this lifestyle with a suitable ‘buffer’ to ensure you know with certainty you will never run out of money.
The third step is to model your finances and put a plan in place so you can achieve your number and set a target date. A date you can look forward to with confidence. A date when you can live your life without the constraints of work – to live as you wish and do the things you’ve always wanted to do.
Don’t leave this until it’s too late – you need to know your number now. What if you could retire tomorrow? Why waste a day?
If you’re young, knowing your number will help you plan with certainty for the future and may help you reach your goal much earlier.
Now, more than ever before – you need to know. You need to know your number. Without it, how can you plan? How can you decide what’s best?
At NorthStar, this is what we help our clients do. We know the right questions to ask, the right plans to put in place and can help you work out your number and how to get there.
Stop worrying about the future. Stop guessing when you can retire. Start planning. Know your number.