Join host Freeman Linde on this episode of his podcast as he welcomes special guest Joe Curry, a Certified Financial Planner and retirement planning expert, to delve into the non-financial aspects of retirement planning. In a world that often emphasizes financial preparation for retirement, Joe shares valuable insights on the significance of clarifying one’s values and purpose for a truly fulfilling retirement journey.
Joe explains that understanding your core values is crucial in making sound financial decisions and living an enjoyable life. By aligning your spending and actions with your values, you can prioritize what truly matters to you and avoid getting distracted by unnecessary expenses. He guides listeners through an exercise that helps identify and narrow down their core values, providing a framework for intentional decision-making.
Moving on to the topic of purpose, Joe emphasizes the importance of retiring to something rather than just retiring from something. He shares how many retirees struggle with their identity and experience feelings of depression because their sense of self was tied to their careers. Joe encourages listeners to explore their passions, skills, and past experiences to uncover their current priorities and purposes. He advises narrowing down these purposes to a maximum of three and suggests engaging in activities or setting goals that align with those purposes to maintain a sense of fulfillment in retirement.
Listeners are encouraged to involve their spouses in the process of identifying family values and purposes, enabling them to plan for their ideal retirement together. Joe reassures listeners that finding purpose is a dynamic and evolving process, and it’s never too late to start or make adjustments along the way. The goal is to wake up each morning excited about the possibilities and experiences that retirement holds.
Whether you’re already in retirement or preparing for it, this episode offers practical exercises and guidance to help you navigate the non-financial aspects of retirement planning. Tune in and embark on a journey of self-discovery, aligning your values and purpose with your financial plans for a truly fulfilling retirement.
Note: To access additional resources and guidance from Joe Curry, visit his website at retirementplanningsimplifiedca.com.
Finding Purpose and Values for a Fulfilling Retirement
(Transcript is auto-generated and may not be perfect.)
Hey, everybody. My name is Joe Curry. I’m excited to be a guest on Freeman’s podcast today. Now, Freeman talks a lot about different planning techniques and ideas and strategies, and he’s also talked along the same vein as some of the things I’m going to talk about today. But the reason that I’m on the podcast today is Freeman wanted me to talk a little bit about values and purpose and the importance of getting clear on your values and purpose if you’re going to have a successful retirement.
So the first thing that you want to consider with financial planning in general this is retirement planning or otherwise, is what your values are. Most people have internally an idea of what those values are, but most people don’t get really intentional about taking a deeper dive into what those core values really are and how they incorporate them into their life. The reason that it’s really important to get clear on your values is that once you’re clear in your values, it’s a lot easier to make good decisions about money, and it’s a lot easier to live an enjoyable life. So what I mean by making better choices is when you look at all the different companies and services that are kind of vying for your money, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in things that we don’t actually really need, right? So our values can act as a filter.
00:01:21So, for example, some of my values are family, adventure, growth. So these are just a few. But if I’m considering purchasing, if there’s something that’s coming up that maybe is a vacation where we’re going to be snowboarding with my family, that’s right in alignment with my values. And I’m willing to maybe spend a little bit more money on something like that because I know that the enjoyment I’m going to get from it and the experience and the memories is going to be something that lasts for me. And that’s because it’s in alignment with my values.
So how do you come up with these values? Again, you may just kind of have subconsciously some ideas, but we have a bit of an exercise that we use to help people get clear on this. So the first thing I always ask people to do is just write down the first ten words that come to mind when you think of values. So don’t look at any other list. Don’t google anything like that.
Just the first ten words that come to mind. Okay, so I did give you a few examples, right? We’re probably not looking at the video, but if you are up behind me, you see I have all my values. So family, Growth, freedom, future, focus, faith, and adventure. Those are some ideas.
But beyond that, just put your first ten words down that you think of, and then after that, what I invite you to do is now go and Google a list of values, okay? And you’ll get maybe 40-50 different words that represent different values. And what I would ask you to do now is print it out, circle the values that kind of resonate with you. You’ll see a lot of words there that probably somewhat resonate, but we don’t want you to have 100 core values. That’s not going to be really helpful, and it’s probably not true, either.
So once you’ve put your list of ten and you’ve identified some other values, then what I would ask you to do is go through those with a fine tooth comb and really narrow it down to a maximum of seven. Less is better. I can only get down to seven. I always tell people five to seven. Some people can get it down to less than that.
But once you’ve narrowed that down, then you have a framework for making decisions about your spending and the actions that you’re taking. So you can live more intentionally, and you can have money for the things that are more important in life for you, and you’re not getting distracted by all those other things that, again, are buying for your hard-earned money. Okay, so the second step, if you’re married, I would suggest that you take your values, have your spouse do this, and that you could come up with kind of a core five to seven family values when you put them together, then that would be ideal for your future retirement planning. So getting clear on your values is just one piece of the puzzle. The next piece that’s also really important that is non-money-related is getting clear on your purpose.
And I’ll spend a little bit more time here today because in working with clients, just like freeing, one of the things that I find is a lot of the people we talk to are ready to retire financially, right? They have the resources, they have the plan financially, but they’re not ready for that next step because they’re retiring from something, but they haven’t figured out what they’re retiring to. I know Freeman did another episode talking about identity, but that’s one of the keys here that becomes an issue for a lot of people when they get to retirement is they start to feel depressed. You’ve probably heard stories or know someone who’s retired and quickly after got very sick. Maybe you passed away.
Or you hear all the time of people being depressed in retirement, and a big part of that is because their identity is wrapped up in their career, right? So maybe you’re a business owner or a lawyer, an accountant, or whatever it is, but that’s been your identity and how you gone through the last 30 years, right? So all of a sudden, if you retire and you take a step away from that and you haven’t figured out your new identity and your new purpose, it’s not going to be a very fulfilling retirement. So for a lot of people, continuing to work in some form might help you get that purpose that you need, right? So I know it’s scary for a lot of people when I start talking about finding your purpose, because people think that they have to have this thing that they were born to do that only they can do.
And if they get it wrong, then they won’t have any purpose. But that’s not really what finding purpose is all about. And if you can find that one thing, that’s great. But really, purpose can be changing over time, right? So maybe your purpose for a long time is helping your kids grow into respectable young adults.
You can start their own family, but eventually they do that and your purpose needs to shift, right? So when you’re thinking about purpose, it’s really what’s your priority right now? And you can have more than one priority. So you don’t want to spread that too thin, right? Jim, call instead, if you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.
So what we suggest when you’re thinking of a purpose is to start coming up with maybe one to three things that you can get really excited about, okay? There’s a lot of different ways to come up with this purpose. And again, don’t be afraid to get it wrong and you can adjust and experiment over time. One of the things that I ask people to do when we’re kind of going through an exercise to help identify this purpose is to understand what your identity is right now first. Okay, so if it’s your career, if it’s being a parent, whatever that is for you, start by just understanding where you’re at right now, okay?
Then beyond that, start thinking of what are some of the best experiences you’ve had. So can you think of three to five experiences in your life that really stand out for you above and beyond everything else? And what are the things that you’re really good at? Like, are there some skills that you have that set you apart from other people or that are kind of unique? And are there things that you just love your passion?
It about what is your thing. So one of the things that I really love is being active in a lot of different ways. But right now I’m doing a lot of workout and training for some Spartan races, which is something that I started because I just wanted to push myself to kind of stay in shape. But now I get pretty excited for going to the gym every day. So that’s something that I’m passionate about right now.
So you list those all out and then think about is there anything that you’re doing right now that is giving you that sense of purpose? Are there things that just give you joy that you just like to do? You know you’re always going to want to do? So make some notes of those. And then thinking on past experiences, passions, the values that you just came up with.
Hobbies, you have volunteering, you’re doing think about all the things you’re already doing, but also think about what are some other things you could kind of add into the mix of all of a sudden you’re freed up a bunch of time because you’re retiring, okay. Or you’re working less. What are some things that could start to build all those experiences but help you use those skills, get you doing the things that you’re passionate about, all that kind of stuff. Start thinking about those and listing them out. So hopefully if you kind of go through this exercise, you’re going to have a pretty big list of things that you could be focusing on.
Again, you don’t want more than three priorities, so we really want to whittle that down. So the next thing I’d have you do is go back through everything that you’ve just listed out and start crossing off anything that does not align with your values. And anything that while may have been applicable while you are working, won’t be applicable when you retire. So if you combine what’s left to pick kind of your top three things, you can pull out of there as your top three purposes. So for example, right now mine are family, business, and health.
So if you can find three in there, you can identify that you could really make a priority, get excited about right now and then beside each of those purposes. Now what I want you to do is write out some steps or some activities that are going to help you really dial into those different purposes. So for example, for me with health, I was just talking about it, right? So health is a big priority for me. So that’s why I mentioned the Spartan race is I always want something that’s going to be pushing me.
So we came up with this idea, a few of my friends and I, what’s going to help us really stay committed to our health and stay in good shape. And so there was a Spartan race. So that’s an example of coming up with some kind of goal or some kind of event or something you want to work towards that’s going to help you continue to focus on those priorities. So I want to make sure that I emphasize that a sense of purpose is not rigid and it can shift throughout your retirement years. Of course it’s going to shift from working to retirement.
And the point of finding your purpose is knowing what’s important to you now. It’s what’s going to make you get excited to get up in the morning, where do you want to experience growth and what’s going to give you that sense of fulfilling retirement, right? So after you’ve worked through the exercise, you may have found a couple of choices are really obvious to you, but you also may be just kind of curious, maybe a couple some ideas, and you’re not really sure what that say. That third priority is for you. So you could literally make one of your purposes or your priorities right now to start experiencing and experimenting with the ideas that you’ve come up with.
Right. So you had a bunch of ideas that might be interesting to you or you might be able to get passionate about, but you’re not really sure what they are. So maybe that is just trying new things every week until you really find something else that you want to dig into. So the whole point here, though, is if you just retire from something without knowing what you’re going to retire to, without having something to get you out of bed in the morning, retirement is not going to be what you expected, and you’re just going to wish you were back in work. There’s going to be something missing.
And I’ve seen this from a number of clients. This isn’t something that is unique or rare. It’s very common. So I’d invite you to really take this episode and these exercises we just walked through seriously and see what you come up with. Right?
And ideally, you’re not doing this in retirement if you’re already there and you’re already feeling like there’s something missing. I mean, for sure, do this, get on it. But if you’re listening to this and you haven’t retired yet, that’s the perfect time to start thinking about it and maybe even you’re starting to transition some of these priorities while you’re still working so that once you retire, you can just hit the ground running. I want to thank you for listening to me today. I know, like I said, Freeman has a ton of great stuff around retirement planning.
And today I just wanted to talk a little bit about some of the non financial aspects of retirement planning that I think are even more important than the finances in a lot of cases, especially for a lot of the people that Freeman and I talk to on a regular basis. So if you’ve gone through this and you’ve done it, congratulations. This is the start to a fulfilling and purposeful retirement. I hope you’ve enjoyed what Shadow about today. If you want some help going through those exercises, I do have a retirement navigator that you can find on my website, RetirementPlanningSimplified.CA.
Thanks, everyone. Everybody.
About Joe Curry
Joe specializes in simplifying the financial lives of people approaching or within retirement. He is the host of Canada’s fastest-growing retirement podcast, Your Retirement Planning Simplified and is a Certified Financial Planner and a member of the Financial Planning Association of Canada. Joe is also the Owner & CEO of Matthews + Associates, located in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. At Matthews + Associates, Joe and his team help Canadian retirees and those within a few years of retirement (work-optional) achieve True Wealth. Joe believes True Wealth is a combination of achieving financial freedom, spending time doing the things you love with the people you love, and having the ability to create opportunities for those that matter most to you.
Joe is passionate about helping his clients optimize investments, save money on taxes and create retirement income streams that last as long as they do.
Joe began working in the financial industry in 2010 and has been an advisor for over a decade, starting in 2011. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Health Specialist (CHS), and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Buffalo State College (State University of New York), where he played varsity hockey.
He continues to build his skills and knowledge in the financial planning industry through continuing education and being an active member of the Financial Planning Association of Canada (FPAC). He regularly receives mentorship from some of the top advisors in North America and is passionate about learning and implementing best practices.
When Joe isn’t busy educating people on retirement planning and the non-financial aspects of retirement or working directly with his clients, you will likely find him spending time with his wife, Ashley and their two boys, Louis and Harry. Joe loves staying active by playing hockey, golfing, working out and trying to keep up with his kids. He also loves travelling with his family and is looking forward to future family snowboarding trips.
Beyond work and family, Joe is involved in his local community in a number of ways. He is the Chair of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation Allied Professional Council, a founding member and Past President of the Peterborough Business Network, and volunteers his time as a minor hockey coach.
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