It’s not just about the money.” That’s a phrase I use over and over with clients when we talk about building a solid retirement plan. The reason? I have found no matter how much money someone has saved for retirement whether it’s $500,000 or $5 million the mindset they bring into retirement is just as important as the funds they have. That’s the number one key to planning for a worry-free retirement. Before you can set a financial goal for your golden years, you need to set some life goals. But that’s where people often fall short. I can’t tell you how many people nearing retirement age have come to me who have never stopped to sit down and think, ‘What do I want my retirement to look like?’ That’s where I come in. As soon as clients sit down with me, I stop talking money and first help people take a deep dive into what their hopes and dreams are for their futures. Here are three questions I always ask my clients before we craft a solid retirement plan:

#1: What is your retirement going to look like? Many people hit that first day of retirement, and they find themselves wondering, ‘What the heck am I going to do now?’ I encourage them to describe a full day, from morning to night, that they envision living out in retirement. The clearer a picture you can paint about what you’ll be doing each day, the better I can help you create a financial plan that will strive to keep you happily living out your retirement dream rather than staying up at night fretting about money. While some people certainly plan to stop working all together, others plan to start another career in a completely different field, or they start a new business, become a contract worker, or volunteer work, or spend time traveling to see extended family. Once I help clients explore what their retirement will look like, I can assist them in funding the lifestyle they’re looking to create.

#2: Are you and the important people in your life on the same page? So, you’ve got a clear picture in your mind about how your retirement is going to look. Is your spouse or significant other on the same page? Unless you’ve sat down and had explicit conversations with them, don’t be so sure. Some questions to consider: Do we want to fully retire? If so, when? Where will we live? What kind of lifestyle do we want to have? How much of a legacy do we want to leave our children/grandchildren? What’s our biggest worry about retirement?

The more I can help clients and their loved ones get on the same page about retirement, the better we can plan for a worry-free future.

#3: What is my level of risk tolerance in terms of my retirement portfolio? As a financial advisor, I am obligated to take my client’s temperature in terms of what level of risk they’re comfortable with regarding their investments. But this question is even more important to ask those approaching retirement. You can plan your retirement perfectly, but the minute you deviate from your plan to chase the almighty dollar, you’re rarely going to be happy. A better course of action: Make sure your retirement portfolio reflects your specific risk tolerance. Retiring successfully doesn’t just mean having enough money. Instead, consider these three questions. Once you’ve mastered your retirement mindset, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the retirement of your dreams.


Dennis J. Mojares, Sr Wealth Manager /
Eagle Rock Wealth Management 1776 On The Green /
67 East Park Place, Suite 750 / Morristown, NJ 07960