What is the “essence of retirement planning?” Is it the stock market or having lots of money in the bank? Is it about owning lots of “stuff” like real estate, antiques, fast cars? NO.

I submit to you that genuine retirement planning is much larger than that. It is the art of having your affairs in order, straightening out your most important matters. It is about prioritizing and spending time with your spouse, children, and grandchildren. These family members are the most important people in the world, and they need your time NOW. If you are a retiree you have weathered some tough times, and your experiences should be shared. It’s your legacy, and your grandchildren, in particular, will appreciate this.

It’s not always about the money.

Several years ago a very successful client of mine (now deceased) spoke with me about how he would give up all the money he had saved if only his grandchildren would spend more time with him. He said “Dave, I was never home with my children, and later in life I wasn’t available to them emotionally. Now they have no time for me.” I don’t know how my client's relationship with his children ended up. I hope he was able to mend the relationships. What’s important to you, the reader of this article, is that you don’t get caught in that same situation. Having all the money in the world, I assure you, does not make you happy. If you are financially fortunate, invest in the people you care about the most. More importantly, spend as much time with them as possible, and you will be the richest person in the world. My experience is that when you give back, special things happen on the inside, and you become successful at what is most important.

Leave a legacy, an estate directory.

No, I don’t mean a “Second To Die” life insurance policy or anything monetary. Write a love letter to your spouse or significant other or children, those who have stood by you through thick and thin. The greatest gift you can leave your family is describing just how much they mean to you in a lasting document to read over and over when you are not with them. It can be handwritten or typed, as long as it comes from your heart and is included in your estate planning documents.

You might also want to consider an “estate directory.” This directory contains valuable estate information to assist in locating important personal documents. Again, leaving a legacy is about taking the time to document the more important matters in your life. It’s not all about the money; it’s about handling your affairs in a dignified manner consistent with your character. If your advisor doesn't have an “estate directory,” we have forms at our office. Feel free to give us a call or email us and we will get one to you without delay.

Dave Kutcher has been published on FOX Business News. Certified in Long-Term Care Planning (CLTC), he owns and operates DAK Financial Group LLC. With almost 25 years of experience working with retirees, he previously served as a Captain in the Marine Corps for 15 years. Call or write to be on his mailing list for quality newsletters; it’s free! Check out our new website www.DAKFinancialGroup.com and like us on Facebook!