Taking Responsibility for the Future: Are You Ready?

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“Lawyer Norm Keith is 58 and laughs hard when asked about his readiness for retirement.” There is an old adage that most good lawyers live well work hard and die poor”, he says referencing the quote from American Lawyer and statesman, Daniel Webster. “Many probably for appearances sake, or life enjoyment or because they are not thinking or planning ahead.”

(Canadian Lawyer Mag, June 2015)

Executives who own or works for a small or large firm need to be prepared to take responsibility for their financial future. Most firms don’t offer group retirement plans and even when they do, would not properly address what would be required to replace lifestyle expenses at retirement or earlier. Embrace the fact in most cases, “You’re Your Retirement Plan”.

Begin with the end in mind. Waiting too long to think about retirement means, working because you have to, not because you want to. Put a plan in motion that will allow you to put your assets to work for you, so that at some point you can slow down or decide to stop working altogether.

Keep in mind, planning to retire can occur only when there are sufficient assets or capital available to replace your current income.


  1. Loss of employment: Firms are pushing partners out, in order to thin the ranks and make room for less expensive, younger workers.
  2. Divorce: Imagine you’ve been on track with a retirement plan and then it blows up because suddenly half of your assets are gone.
  3. Income declining or stagnant: Due to the reduced profitability of companies.
  4. Market Conditions: Investment returns have generally been lower since 2008.
  5. Illness: A disability or critical illness can mean your tapping into assets sooner than planned in order to maintain lifestyle until you recover.
  6. (Source for point 1-4, Canadian Lawyer Mag, June 2015-edited to fit)


  1. Set a deadline as to when you want investments to start to work on your behalf.
  2. Identify cash that can be saved for the future sooner rather than later.
  3. Pay off debt as soon as possible.
  4. Set up a forced savings plan to ensure money is being set aside for future goals.
  5. Purchase insurance plans that meet your cash flow requirements and can be adjusted to your needs.

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