Tangibly understanding your retirement

Our retirement is one topic where all of us think many years into the future. In my tangible futures presentation I’ve been showing a typical screen from my online retirement account. It shows how much money I have saved, where it’s invested, the rate of return, my asset allocation, and so on. It’s a great tool for helping me understand my investments, but it fails to help me understand what I’m saving for, and therefore if I’ll have enough money to retire the way I’d like.

Then I show a more tangible concept I like to call Cancun 2035:

It’s just a concept, but immediately it signals to me what a great retirement I have awaiting me and how close I am to it financially. I don’t know if Cancun will actually be a nice place to retire to in 2035, or how much it will cost, or what the rate of inflation is, but my financial services company can help me with that. Then they’d be my retirement services company, a big identity and capability change for an organization, but one that might be facilitated by creating a new vision for themselves using a tangible future like this one.

Recently I noticed Ameriprise is giving away a Dream Book that does help you plan for what you’ll do in retirement. Unfortunately the book is mostly text and not more tangible, but they’re headed in the right direction.