Ever notice how many top 10 lists there are these days? No matter what you are considering, somebody has a 10 best and worst list for about everything.

The financial planning industry is no different. In fact they have taken the task one step further. The other day I noticed a Top 10 list if you wanted to retire at 40, 50 or 60. There was another Top 10 list if you wanted to start a savings plan at 40, 50 or 60.

In addition to having these clever marketing tools, the industry has developed professional certifications to educate and increase professionalism in the business. Kudos to all you CFP’s.

The whole idea of the planning is to make sure you have enough dough to last and still have enough left over to pass along. This way your funeral will be well attended and lots of good words will be said. We all want that.

With credit to the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement we are reminded of the single most important point most financial planners ignore.

You may have enough money to last you until your 100 but if you are not in the right health and state of mind you won’t last anywhere near that long. There will be tons of well off beneficiaries of your demise attending your funeral. They will be literally gushing with wonder stories, but what good does that do?

Work Hard, Die Late

The facts on America’s health are appalling. We may have the most advanced health care but the highest level of obesity. Some studies place the level of either severely overweight or clearly obese as high as 70%. These same studies revealed that less than 40% of these tubbys felt they had a weight problem.

Here is one finding from Aegon that supports this point. Some 57% of the subjects in their study claimed that they eat healthy. It takes a lot of Kale to support a 350-pound person. Somebody is in denial.

Obesity is big contributor to diabetes while stress is a big part of stroke and heart disease. Only 17% of the Aegon subjects practiced stress-reducing habits like meditation and relaxation exercises.

It’s All In The Mind

American healthcare offers more plans offering regular checkups and health maintenance programs. We also have access to more health clubs per capita than any country in the world.

Owners of these facilities make fortunes selling memberships that never get used. In the final analysis, they depend on America’s tendency of consistently breaking New Years Resolutions.

In the final analysis, achieving and maintaining good health well into retirement is a mental game that should start every bit as early as financial planning. Not only can poor health later in life have potential devastating effects on finances, they can reduce you earnings potential in the first place. Subjects in the Aegon showed 31% of retirees did so early because of poor health.

Another part of the retirement planning mental game, according to most experts, is having a nice long bucket list to keep the blood flowing. If taking out the trash seems to be the only regular non-work activity, it is time to allocate some more “me time”.

Mental strategies from the experts include things like: using your business skills at planning, time management and goal setting. Lots of retirees like to play golf. Turn your game into a scheduled series of goals. Tuesdays can be used to knock 3 strokes off your chipping and putting. On Fridays focus in hitting your drives down the center of the fairway. In other words, put the same purpose into your leisure activities that you did in you business. Most importantly, have multiple activities that involve physical and mental challenges.

If you follow the advice of these experts, there will be fewer people at your funeral but the stories will be much more interesting.