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Start with the End in Mind

Listen to Best in Wealth Podcast Episode 169  

Everyone listening to this podcast is going to die someday. It is not always fun to think about, but it is true—death is our destiny. What do you want to do with your life before you die? Are you putting things off consistently, saying “I’ll do it later?” What if there is no later? It is time to start planning with the end in mind. Learn how to do it in this episode of Best in Wealth!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:19] You are going to die someday
  • [3:56] Start with the end in mind
  • [9:01] Why do you start at the end?
  • [11:44] How do you do it?
  • [12:49] A visualization exercise
  • [16:30] Design your retirement path

The journey to the end

Steven Covey wrote the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” The 2nd habit in his book is based on your imagination. It is the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot see with your eyes. It is starting with the end in mind! It is based on the principle that all things are created twice—first in your mind and then physically.

If you are a basketball player, you can lay in bed and imagine yourself making free throw after free throw. Then you get out on the court and do it. I taught both of my daughters this strategy. Envision yourself 20 pounds lighter and what you can do differently. Then you can go make it happen. You can do this with anything.

Why you NEED to start with the end in mind?

There are three reasons you need to start with the end in mind:

  1. It brings clarity. This is why I love retirement plans. You can view and change your dreams whenever you want—but you have to think about it first. Do you want to go to all of the national parks? How will you feel when you check off the last one? Dreaming brings clarity.
  2. It brings efficiency. If you know where the end is, you can fill in the steps to get there. If you do not know where you are going and you let the waves take you wherever they may go, where does that leave you?
  3. It brings you purpose. We live day by day going to work, watching Netflix, and eating meals. But when you think about the end, you think about what will fulfill you. What gives you a purpose? Purpose comes after having the confidence that you know you can retire.

You know what it is and why you should do it, but how do you do it? 

How to start with the end in mind

How do you figure out what you want your retirement to look like? You want your basic living expenses and healthcare covered, right? Now think about the things that you want. A cabin up north? Vacations in warm weather? A new boat or sports car? What about wishes? If you have money left over, are you giving money to your kids, church, or favorite causes? You have to start with a dream. If you need help, work with a financial planner to walk through the process with you. 

An important visualization exercise

If you are listening, close your eyes. Imagine that it is morning and you just got out of bed. You have to prepare to go to an event later in the day. You do not know what it is, but you know it is important. Imagine yourself getting ready. What clothes will you wear? How will you style your hair? 

What is the weather like outside? What are your neighbors doing? Is there a lot of traffic? You arrive at a building, walk to the front doors and walk in. As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by your loved ones. 

You walk into a giant auditorium, greeted by even more loved ones. Everyone who has ever mattered to you is there. How do you feel being there? It hits you: you are at your own funeral. Everyone is there to celebrate and reflect upon your life. 

What will all these people say at your funeral? What do you want them to say? This exercise helps you realize what and who matters to you. Use this to your advantage. Your end is how you are remembered. 

What do you do next? Listen to this episode of Best in Wealth to learn more!

Resources Mentioned

Connect With Scott Wellens

Podcast Disclaimer:

The Best In Wealth Podcast is hosted by Scott Wellens. Scott Wellens is the principal at Fortress Planning Group. Fortress Planning Group is a registered investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities Act of Wisconsin in accordance and compliance with securities laws and regulations. Fortress Planning Group does not render or offer to render personalized investment or tax advice through the Best In Wealth Podcast. The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, investment or legal advice.