Many future retirees in their fifties face a milestone in the next decade that can feel like an overwhelming deadline: retirement. If they’re also a business owner or corporate executive, the pressure is greater because people outside their families depend on them.
Sometimes they have all the elements — robust savings, ample 401(k) investments, adequate insurance, even a rough exit plan at work — but they haven’t connected them in a comprehensive strategy.
In The Runway Decade, financial advisors Pete Bush and Bill Bush provide an insider’s look at how to simplify the complex process of planning for retirement. Their unique, holistic approach includes all areas of wealth, from social security benefits and Medicare coverage to charitable giving and tax planning. They show how future retirees can control their futures — as long as they have the right tools.
I recently caught up with Pete and Bill Bush to learn more about why they wrote the book and the ideas they share with readers.
What problem do you see people struggling with?
When you reach fifty, retirement becomes very real for thefirst time in any meaningful way. It’s not so far away anymore! If anything,it’s now looming on the horizon, and you can actually see it in the distance.At this stage, you have friends and co-workers who have retired, you’reprobably an empty-nester or close, and your parents, if they’re still with you,are in their senior years, probably dealing with health problems.
With retirement so close now, you start to worry about howyou’re going to spend the rest of your career preparing for it. Is it too late?Are you on track? Do you have enough time left? Can you possibly retire early,or will you have to retire late?
Chances are, you already have a 401(k) or other retirementplan in place, and maybe you’ve accumulated some other savings and retirementbenefits, like a pension or Social Security. But even if you’ve saved well anddone all of the things you’re supposed to do as a responsible working adult,the road to retirement can still seem unclear from where you stand in yourfifties.
People usually have a lot of questions about retirementplanning in this stage of life. We want to help these people by motivating andencouraging them to develop a holistic financial plan with clear steps thatwill lead to their desired retirement lifestyle.
What’s an idea you share that really excites you?
Retirement income planning focuses on having a dollar-specific, date-specific strategy for covering your expenses when the regular paychecks stop coming in. It can be an intimidating process, so it’s understandable why going through that transition will be one of the most stressful times in your life.
But here’s the good news: you still have time! We call the fifties “the runway decade” because you still have time in your working life to set yourself up for a successful retirement. While you should be well on your way to accumulating the resources you’ll need, there is still runway left if you are behind or just starting to focus on it.
Living in regret over past financial mistakes won’t fix anything. Sometimes, clients walk through our door full of regret over losses from bad investments, trusting the wrong so-called “experts,” or not setting aside enough money throughout their careers. But that’s all water under the bridge. Now is the time for action.
When people fill us in on their details and lament about the past, we tell them, “That’s not who you are. That’s who you were. Who you are now will be defined by what you do going forward” Even if your past isn’t full of mistakes, you have to be careful of overconfidence and complacency. You’re on the runway now, and every decision or indecision gets magnified as the runway gets shorter and shorter.
Whatever your situation is, it’s not too late, but you do have to start creating that clear, concise plan right now. Sure, when an airplane makes its turn onto the runway for takeoff, the other end looks very far away, but once the plane gets moving and momentum builds, the runway gets shorter and shorter rather quickly.
Like the plane, your pre-retirement life is already barreling down its own runway, and there’s no time to waste. Just as you peer out of a plane’s window and see lights and reflectors zipping by at increasing speed while taking off, so do the days, weeks, and opportunities seem to pass by in your own life. If there was ever a time to take action, it’s now.
How will following your advice improve your readers’ lives?
This topic hits close to home for both of us because we happen to be in our mid-fifties. Like you, we’re right in the middle of the runway decade, headed toward takeoff, and we’ve lived through the same world events and life experiences that have shaped both the world and our world. The world we live in today is different than the one we were born into, and the one we retire in will certainly be different still.
While we can never control what goes on in the world or the future, we can focus, plan, and prepare to make improvements to our world and our future. Professionally, over the past thirty years, we’ve served thousands of people through our wealth management and retirement plan businesses, helping them create roadmaps for their future financial well-being.
We know how to help people navigate this stage of life, and we also know some things you need to start doing to get ready for retirement right now that may not even be on your radar yet. After reading The Runway Decade, you’ll have the perspective you need to start creating your own roadmap to retirement, so you’ll be able to provide, protect, and prosper for the people who are counting on you.
Our hope is that this process will get you to the point where, when you wake up in the morning and put your feet on the floor, even though you may have a few things to worry about on a given day, your financial and retirement planning won’t be among them. When you can see clearly where you’re going and feel confident about the road ahead, that confidence has a ripple effect throughout the rest of your life: relationships, work, decision-making, everything. It’s practically a superpower.