Suzan in White

What is your plan for retirement? This is a question I have asked many of my friends.

What surprised me is how many looked at me, laughed, and said “I really don’t have one. I am too busy surviving.” Many of my friends actually admitted to avoiding the issue. Unfortunately, avoiding something does not make the eventual reality go away.

My wake up call came about 12 years ago. I was in the process of separating from and eventually divorcing, my then husband. The result of what most would consider a very civil divorce, still left me needing to completely start over. I had paid off all my debt but it left me with no savings, no home, no car, and barely two pennies to rub together. What seemed some what insane, was I had also chosen to quite my job, leave Toronto, and relocate to a small town with a population of about 20,000. While most thought I was loosing my mind, I felt free. It was an opportunity to start over. The cool thing was, I was at zero. No longer at a negative $150K.

It was time to make a plan and begin to create a positive net worth.

I remember contacting my then financial planner and letting him know I wanted to build a personalized retirement plan. I asked him for a clearly detailed plan of what I would be required to do to create a passive income of at least $10K per month. I let him know I was starting from zero and wanted a clearly outlined action plan. Once I put forth my request the phone line went dead. Not a sound!   No excitement! No…. I know exactly how to help you. This is an opportunity, I thought. Why would I give anyone my money to manage if they could not give me a detailed action plan? This was a new day and my plan was to do things differently. No longer was I willing to live with my head in the sand. No longer would I leave my future in the hands of the government, or some unpredictable retirement plan.

It was now time to educate myself and find a new adviser.

I began taking courses and interviewing advisers. It was amazing how many people wanted to invest my money but had no clear action plan. I had an end result in mind and I wanted to work backward and build a strategy.

Then came the interview with the advisor I have today. I remember asking her for a detailed plan and she actually became excited. “Sure I can do that,” she said. “At what age will you require the funds?” “How much can you begin to invest?” “Are you willing to increase your investment amount as your income grows?” Finally, “can we look at new sources of income so you have multiple streams?.” This was music to my ears and to my surprise with in a few days I had a detailed plan.  My new plan included the following strategies:

  • My potential income from Canada Pension.
  • My expected retirement income from past employers.
  • A host of investments strategies
  • Possible Insurance strategies
  • Recommendations to purchase 3 properties, creating cash positive real estate investments.
  • Other possible ways to become involved in real estate
  • A second business income that I was to create.

New Money, New Money

My advisor told me how much we would require in each area to create the principle to which I could draw a passive income of $10K per month from. Although I was earning an excellent income with my Network Marketing business, that income was not included in my plan. Rather each month we would use a portion of the earnings to fund all the other areas in my plan and create new money.

As I worked with my advisor to build a clear action plan, retirement became a strategic game I was determined to win. I was excited! I was educating myself and having fun. I could see my future and I had a plan to get me there. As I gained more knowledge I was able to adjust my plan, including new strategies that responses to the changing markets.

If you are among the many who have put off planning for your retirement or financial future, my recommendation is to begin planning now. Will you make mistakes? Absolutely! However, the biggest mistake would be to do nothing and continue to avoid the inevitable.

Suzan Hart is an inspirational speaker, master trainer and author.  Knowing that your inner game creates your outer game Suzan’s mindset mastery, teaches hard working, results driven black men and women, to be un-apologetically recognized for their value, financially rewarded for their brilliance, and celebrated for the fullest expression of themselves.  Suzan Hart went from physically exhausted and financially upside down to becoming a Black Woman Millionaire. Suzan Hart is president of HartZone Inc and the founder of the F!T is the New $eXy movement. Learn more and claim your free gift at http://www.hartzone.com.