Which brings us to the concluding excerpt of his New York Times article in which Paul B. Brown briskly likens the issue offinancial planning to the stages of grief experienced by those who understand they are dying—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—famously identified by the late psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
Assembling financial records at tax time, Brown, in today’s excerpt, reaches the final stage of . . .
“ACCEPTANCE “Well, facts are facts. We are not going to have eight times our current income socked away when we finally hang it up. Probably not seven, either. But you know what? To quote that great sage William Stephen Belichick, otherwise known as the head coach of the New England Patriots, ‘It is what it is.’
“And there are some advantages in the fact that we are going to fall short. For one thing, I don’t have to agonize every day whether our retirement accounts closed up or down. The final figure will be, to quote Bill, whatever it is, and I think I am O.K. with that.
“We can’t increase our retirement savings contributions without jeopardizing how we live now — and I like how we live now. And I am not going to regret the fact that we paid for the kids to go to the colleges of their choice (although it would have been nice if even one had picked a state school).
“Yes, we have home-repair services on speed-dial, but Alison loves this place, faulty wiring and all. And the
saying is on target: Happy wife, happy life.
“Given all this, I am going to be O.K. with whatever number we end up with when we retire. If we remain diligent, it looks as if we will have about six times current income. And between that and Social Security we will make do. I am at peace with it. Effective today, I am not going to spend hours agonizing over whether to save tax-deferred or not. I am going to make one decision — with a lot of help from our accountant — and let it go.