A good friend woke up one day with the fire in his belly to get his financial life moving forward in a big way. Paying off old debts, setting aside savings, and making some tax-wise moves hit his radar screen in a big way. He was, and is, urgent about it. I couldn’t be happier for him and his young family. The problem is, where does one start when getting things cleaned-up is the goal – not just for now, but for good?

When he asked my opinion, I offered him my best piece of life-change advice: rent a dumpster, park it in your driveway, and begin purging your life of the junk you no longer need. (I also suggested recycling, reselling, and rediscovering items too.) In other words, I suggested he de-clutter his life, beginning with the lumpy objects lying around, unused. In my experience, the very motion of getting rid of clutter can have a profound effect on getting other areas of life straightened-up too. Believe it or not, I discovered this by accident.

When we had new windows installed, the contractor warned us of the dumpster being delivered. At first, I thought this would be a nuisance, making it difficult to navigate our driveway. But when he suggested we use the unused room in the dumpster for cleaning out the house, I took the opportunity and ran with it. It was cathartic! What surprised me was how, even after the dumpster was taken away, the de-cluttering continued in other areas, including financial matters.

It turns out that I’m not alone in having unnecessarily cluttered my financial life. You’d think that being in this vocation, I’d be tuned-into the effects of financial clutter. Like you may have experienced, the clutter grew slowly, quietly. As an example, I had numerous personal and business accounts at three banks. Maybe you enjoy that kind of clutter, but I do not. Studies repeatedly show that the typical retiree doesn’t enjoy it either. In fact, most retirees consolidate their retirement and investment accounts that may have been spread all over the place, a result of multiple employers and financial advisors that came and went over the years.

So, whether you have a goal to lose 10 pounds or clean up your financial life, my advice for getting started is very much the same: rent a dumpster, change your life. Use the motion of this first step to create inertia toward your bigger goals and aspirations. Make your life a bit lighter and your head a bit clearer, and you may shock yourself by what you accomplish.

Most people say they want a simpler, more meaningful life, but don’t know where to start. Maybe it’s simpler than you think to get moving. It’s called Goodwill, a dumpster, and the decision to do something, anything, to clean up and clarify various areas of your life. Can beginning the process be as simple as a dumpster rental? Why not try it and find out for yourself?

Do you have enough?

Retirement Income Planning is one of the most critical components of a successful retirement plan. Confidently answering the question, “How long will my money last?” can go a very long way toward retiring with the peace of mind you deserve. If you’d like to take advantage of the many tools we use to develop a detailed, written retirement income plan, contact us today. Through the use of our Review Process and state-of-the-art planning software, you’ll sleep better at night knowing you’ve secured enough income to last as long as you do.