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Ben Kingsley Blog post by Ben Kingsley

Did You Make Any Headway To Retirement Last Year?

A new year has arrived and it’s usually this time of the year that one reflects on the past year and reviews the good, the bad and the ugly. A lot of great things happened for me, my family and business in 2010 and very little bad news came our way. For most of you the ugly might have been Collingwood winning the flag, but for me that event was only beaten by the arrival of my first son Jack back in August, which was by far the scariest but also the biggest event in mine and Jane’s life to date.

Jack’s now just coming up to being 5 months old and doesn’t having a baby change your perspective on the world? Now more than ever time has become the most precious commodity in my life and spending time with our son is very important to me as he grows up. I have always planned to play an active role in his endeavours, namely I’m a bit of a sporty person, with a basketball and football background, so I always thought I’d be the coach of one of these activities and I really enjoy music, travel and fishing, so if he’s going to have an interest in these things, then I’m the man for the job.

Planning to be in a position to have more time for when I was older, required a bit of thought and understanding around the important things in our life, and money in isolation is not relevant at all, it’s what enables us to do and what it can provide us. Being the wealthiest person in Australia or the world may have been a dream, many years back when I first started investing, but a wise person told me many years ago, a person with the most money in the world still can’t buy time, if they have an illness that is terminal. Sure the upside is they can get the world’s best health treatments to prolong their time alive, but that’s about it.

For Jane and I, we do aspire to have a very high quality of life and very high standard of living – we certainly enjoy the finer things that money can afford us, but our written plans and goals are more to do with our values of the important things in our lives and the new experiences we plan to enjoy as Jack grows up.

Theoretically, even now in our 30’s (OK – Jane’s a fair bit younger than me, and technically I turn 40 in August) we do have enough of a wealth base to enjoy a lifestyle that currently 75% of the population can’t, because we have built up a wealth base that could comfortably sustain us for the rest of our lives. However, comfortable is not what we are seeking. We have worked hard and want more for our retirement than just comfortable.

Our documented Money and Wealth Plan, and I say documented for a reason, as I heard a business advisor once say that research shows that 95% of written down plans succeed and I wholeheartedly agree. You don’t run a successful business unless you have a business plan, budget and cash flow forecasts, marketing plans etc. so why should your household money be any different?

Anyway our documented plan has us working until I am 50, at which point, we have worked out that we will be in an exceptionally strong financial position to pretty much enjoy what we want when we want it. Now I love my work – making others wealthier and giving them the chance to retire earlier or provide more for their families is what I go to work every day to achieve. However it’s very re-assuring to know that in as little as 10 years from now we will have climbed that mountain we set to climb and have hopefully the next 30 to 50 years to enjoy the view, plus the journey to get there has been a hell of a lot of fun too!

As you reflect on your year just gone, ask yourself, did any of my money generating effort in 2010 find their way to making me and my family wealthier and was that money best utilised in making me one step closer to financial independence?

When you work with Empower Wealth, you know our core objective is to make you wealthier for whatever your reasons to use that money are.

Remember knowledge is empowering! – If you do something with it!

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