Help Spread SDT In Retirement - Danielle Howard

Help Spread SDT In Retirement

Are you consumed with guilt, shame or resentment that you don’t fit the mold that the media, and our culture has created around your vesper years? FOMO (fear of missing out) is running rampant, and financial victimhood has dire emotional and financial consequences.

There is a solid, growing body of work on the factors that determine true, well-being and happiness. There is an aging population that is seeking it. When the two converge, we will see fireworks.

In the 1970’s, Edward Deci and Richard Ryan laid the foundation on how happiness is cultivated through intrinsic motivation. The research continues on “Self Determination Theory – SDT”. The benefits at personal and societal levels for a maturing demographic are profound.

The premise of the work is based on three innate psychological needs – competence, autonomy and relatedness. When these needs are met, we continue to be motivated, productive and happy.

As you transition towards your fall season of life it is vital that you keep SDT at the forefront of your thought process, alongside the quantitative components that will facilitate the journey.

A good description of a self-determined individual is someone who:

• Believes to the best extent possible, they are in control of their lives. A mindset and attitude, they are victors, not victims of circumstances.
• Takes responsibility for their behaviors. What is working, or what is not and they are willing to change.
• Exhibits grit, determination and self-motivation instead of being driven by other’s standards or circumstances outside of themselves.
• Determines their own actions based on their values and moral standards.
• Sees their life impacting others in a beneficial way.

A challenging mindset to have when you are in your accumulation years, it is more so when we shift into a new and uncertain life season where we have external hype on what retirement “should look like”. It is easy to check our SDT hat at the retirement door.

Do these statements sound like SDT? I can’t retire – I don’t have enough money. The markets are too volatile, I don’t want to be part of it. Create a will or estate plan? My family will figure it out. I am just going to take Social Security at 62, before the system goes broke. I’m not good with money. Taxes just eat up my income. Everything is so expensive. I don’t have time to think about my long-term care needs. No, this is the antithesis! I get it, it is tough out there, but you can start making a shift by getting in touch with your SDT.

Here is SDT talk: I am going to rewire and figure out what will bring purpose and meaning to my life. I will understand and utilize my financial resources wisely. I am going to embrace what economic season we are in and make sure I am positioned and prepared for my cash flow needs. I am going to put together a will. I will take a class this fall on financial literacy. I will talk to my accountant about end of year tax planning. I will grow my assets in order to keep up with inflation. I will plan for my future health care and aging transitions. I will start conversations with trusted family members and advisors to build my team.

You will find greater life satisfaction and success when you pursue your goals and address future transitions in your own way rather than being told what they should look like and how you should do it.

Research also shows that we will be more productive and purposeful when we are supported by empathetic and positive people, rather than controlling or directive ones. (Koestner & Hope, 2014)

You don’t need another financial advisor shaming you that you aren’t “saving” enough for retirement! Find a life financial planner that will support you in clarifying your version of true prosperity and how to refine and optimize the financial tools you have to support and undergird you as you live a life of no regrets!

How can you help spread SDT? We can encourage and inspire each other to reframe what this exciting time of life has to offer and refine the financial resources available to you to provide a solid foundation of keeping it sustainable.

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