How much money do you need to secure the rest of your life? Do you know how to think about it? What do you want to do with the rest of your life and how much will it cost?

Lee Eisenberg challenges his readers with these questions and more in his book, The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think about the Rest of Your Life. As Eisenberg himself proclaims, “This book is about money, but ultimately it’s about the life you want, the life you don’t, and the costs of each.”

In particular, these are burning issues for the 76 million Baby Boomers who are nearing retirement age. In the past, this transition has been viewed solely as an economic event—one in which the focus is on building a retirement nest egg. But more and more in our society, the nagging question is creeping in, “What is the money for?”

In The Late-Start Investor, author John Wasik recommends rejecting the traditional way of planning for retirement and choosing instead a “flexible life plan that provides for financial, vocational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.” He explains, “Unless you look at your future holistically, merely saving up a pile of money will be a meaningless act.”

With this in mind, the first step to investing in your future is to think about and clarify what is most important to you. This is a time to listen to your own heart and to focus on what you value most in life. Whatever you identify will become the foundation for your life goals.

The next step is to think about the role that money can play in helping you to achieve each life goal.

  • Will having sufficient financial resources give you more options for realizing your goals?
  • Will financial independence in your retirement years allow you to pursue those activities that will give your life a sense of meaning and purpose?

Answering these questions will help you to determine “your number” and to understand how your money is integrated into all areas of your life—not as an end in itself, but as an instrument for creating the life you want— now and in future.


Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, NP

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