In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service, here are some thoughts on retirement planning that don't rely on accumulating a large pot of money.
Not everything that contributes to a financially stable retirement costs money. If you can accumulate these five assets, you are well on your way to a comfortable old age.
- Retirement planning knowledge. Learning the art and science of managing money is No. 1 on the list of assets that successful retirees need. It might even top money.
- Good health. No matter how much money you accumulate, you won't be able to enjoy it if you aren't healthy. It doesn't take riches -- most of us can afford to buy and eat food that's good for us. Other important factors -- no smoking, moderate (or no) drinking and lots of exercise -- that are key to good health come free of charge.
- Friends and family. Human capital offers assets that definitely reduce the cost of living well. Having people around who care about you is what gives life zest beyond what money can buy.
- Purpose. If all retirement means is freedom from work, then you risk a pointless existence. Vowing to make a difference is a priceless commitment.
- No regrets. Life is brief. Our hair turns gray before we stop feeling like teenagers. No one can afford to regret the things they can't change.