“Whatever you do, strive to do it so well that no man living and no man dead and no man yet to be born could do it any better.” ~ Benjamin E. Mays, President of Morehouse College 1940-1967
Homecoming (stylized as HΘMΣCΘMING; subtitled: “A Film by Beyoncé”) is a concert film about American singer Beyoncé and her performance at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It premiered on Netflix on April 17, 2019.[i] After reading and hearing the rave reviews I watched the concert film Saturday evening (and I recommend you do as well) and quickly realized that Beyoncé teaches us four lessons about retirement planning that we should apply to our lives:
- Intentional- From beginning to end, Beyoncé was intentional about the images, costumes, music, staging, lighting, quotes, dancers, band, orchestra and opportunity she had as the first African American female to headline Coachella. That opportunity and in her words, “responsibility” was evident in how she wanted her audience to remember her performance and the cultural themes she so brilliantly wove together into her own musical tapestry. As it relates to your retirement, your planning should be intentional. Intentional is defined as being done on purpose. Being calculated. Beyoncé showed us in her two-hour concert film covering a span of eight months that she did not take any shortcuts and in your retirement planning you cannot afford to take any shortcuts. When it comes to your retirement planning, you should be calculated and detailed in every aspect of your life in retirement. How much will you need per month in net (after taxes) income, how much will your monthly expenses be every month, how much will you need in emergency savings, how much will you need to have in your retirement accounts to provide your desired income, how much income taxes will you have to account for from your Social Security income and pension (if you will receive one) and so much more. Your planning for retirement should be intentional.
- Control– Beyoncé had total control of her performance at Coachella. She was the writer, producer, and director. Her entertainment company Parkwood Entertainment was the production company for the film. She was the first artist to negotiate the rights of her Coachella performance which gives her the ability to monetize her performance into a Netflix concert film, album, merchandising and much more. Tess Webre, then an intern at the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress says, “It is commendable that this celebrity has taken responsibility for her own digital assets and it should be viewed as an act of empowerment,” Webre continued. “She wishes to control the destiny of her records and understands the work necessary for this. The employment of her digital archivist proves that maintenance of digital materials is a worthwhile investment.”[ii] Like Beyoncé, you should have complete control of your retirement planning. Too many pre-retirees are leaving the control of their retirement in the hands of their employers, pension companies, 401(k) administrators, Social Security Administration, Bankers but not themselves. Am I saying do not use the institutions, resources or people around you, no, but do not let others determine the type of retirement lifestyle you will have? Take control of your retirement planning by writing down the retirement vision you want for yourself. Stephen Covey taught in his bestselling book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” begin with the end in mind[iii] and control every aspect of your retirement vision becoming your reality. The more you control your outflow, inflows, debt, taxes, savings, investments, insurance, estate plan, and budget will ensure your retirement plan will come to pass.
- Sacrifice– According to Variety, Ariana Grande was paid $8 million to headline Coachella this year, a staggering fee by any standard — but even more so considering Beyoncé was reportedly paid half that amount to headline in 2018.[iv] For many, especially Beyoncé fans, they feel as if Beyoncé lost while Ariana Grande won until you realize Beyoncé was willing to sacrifice the short term income for the long term wealth. While Beyoncé was reportedly paid $3-$4 million for her Coachella performance, she reportedly negotiated a contract with Netflix for a reported $60 million that includes additional films. As previously stated, Mrs. Carter owns all the rights to her Coachella performance meaning she can still negotiate another distribution option after her contract with Netflix is over. Beyoncé was willing to sacrifice upfront or immediate money for future long-term wealth. In your planning for retirement, you must be willing to sacrifice your right now for your not yet. What do I mean? To have your desired retirement you will have to sacrifice money you may want to spend today by investing in accounts that will benefit you in the future. You will have to sacrifice some shoes, clothes, cars, houses, vacations, lunches, watches, TVs, concerts and take those dollars and invest them in investment vehicles that can appreciate in value rather than the aforementioned items that depreciate in value. You will have to sacrifice your time studying, learning, seeking and applying the retirement planning knowledge that will make you a wiser investor.
- Team– In the concert film, Beyoncé stated she had over 100 dancers, 200 members in the band, an all-women orchestra, background singers, 3 production stages and 50 people on the production team. The magnitude and level of excellence the 2018 Beyoncé Coachella performance provided could not happen without a team. The success you can have in the fulfillment of your retirement plan and vision depends on the financial team you have around you. John Donne said it best, “No one is an island entire of itself.”[v] We are wired as humans to seek relationships with others, but many of us do not want to work with others when it comes to our finances. But, the truly financially successful individuals I know are the ones who are willing to have a financial team working with them. Who should be on your team? I believe you need a tax accountant and attorney, insurance agent, investment advisor and retirement income specialist on your team. Each member of your team should have one goal and that is the successful fulfillment of your retirement vision. Who is on your team? Do you have a team? Do you have the right people on your team? Charles Tremendous Jones says it best, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Choose your team members wisely.
Do yourself a favor, watch HΘMΣCΘMING on Netflix and then apply the four retirement planning lessons we learn from this film by Beyoncé. If you would like someone to help you apply these four lessons into your retirement plan we would love the opportunity to serve you. Feel free to call us at 615-678-6603, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.rollovercompany.com to learn how we can partner with you to make retirement vision a reality.
[iii] Covey, S. R. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic ([Rev. ed.].). New York: Free Press. Covey, Stephen R.