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After planning, comes the doing

I practice what I preach. For the most part. I have got my planning skills fine-tuned and honed in on the most efficient way to handle the financial challenges that are thrown my way. But like a vast majority of things I plan for, I'm not following through with as much energetic enthusiasm on the "doing" compared to the "planning".

How does this happen?

Well take the vast majority of Americans retirement savings. Half the paid workers ages 25 to 64 don't own retirement savings accounts of any kind. People plan to live as long as possible. People don't plan on working for the rest of their lives. So whats the holdup? Why aren't more people planning for their own retirement? We've all heard the recent news that Social Security is running out on a timeline that is falling short of previous estimates.

So what do most of us do?

We plop down in a chair, pencil and paper in front of us, start writing down what we make, what we hope to make in the future, how much we can afford to put away. Move to another chair, plop down in front of the computer find a savings calculator or 401k calculator online plug in our numbers and sit in awe at the results of compounded interest. The more ambitious will take it a few steps further, comparing funds and different risk options, but for the most part we see the results and we know the "what if".

The "what if" is enough for us. If we start saving now, if we save this much, if we invest here, we'll have this much in the end. The "what if" is a mentality we could all do without. The "what if" needs to change to simply "when and will".

When I retire I will need x amount of money to live.
When I get paid, I will need to deposit x amount into my retirement savings.

Transforming your retirement savings goals from the theoretical to the actual is as simple as changing your expectations of yourself and the realization that you are ultimately responsible for yourself.

So how does this example apply to me? I have plans up to my eyeballs. They're not going to accomplish themselves, no matter how many times I tweak and retweak them. When I get done with this email, I will start the "doing".