Retirement Planning: The Three Steps
Watching the news one morning and seeing the incredible story about Kevin Jorgenson and Tommy Caldwell's amazing feat of free climbing El Capitan over a 19-day period made me think back to Sir Edmund Hilary and his trek to be the first person to reach the summit of Mt Everest. In 1953, when Sir Edmund accomplished this feat he was quite a famous man. He was named by Time magazine as one of the Top 10 most influential people of the 20th century, and was quite popular on the talk show circuit. During each of his appearances he would be asked the same question over and over again. That question was “How were you able to succeed when so many before you had tried and failed?” With a smile on his face, he would answer by saying there were three things that allowed him to succeed. His three things resonate with me on not only how to handle major obstacles in life but also when it comes to the issue that all Americans have when planning their retirement.
Have a plan. Mt. Everest has been around a long while and since the dawn of the mountain, many people have tried to ascend to the summit. Many people tried and they all failed, and unfortunately some failed with their lives. Sir Edmund realized that getting to the summit was only half the journey. The most important thing after getting to the top was coming back down, and he made the plan for the entire journey.
When it comes to retirement planning, you need to make a plan for not only climbing up the mountain (accumulation phase) but you need a plan for descending the mountain (distribution/income phase). In the past, financial services focused mostly on how to build up your nest egg and once you were ready to retire, they would congratulate you and send you on your way to deal with the distribution phase. I am happy to say that the financial services industry has changed and we are there to help you through the entire journey.
Have the right tools. This seems pretty obvious, but if you are planning to spend days going up and down the largest mountain in the world, you have to make some decisions about which tools are essential to have and which ones are nice to have.
When it comes to retirement planning, you have to make the same decision. There are many tools to help you pursue the retirement goal. Things like the retirement accounts: Traditional/Roth IRA, employer retirement plans and Social Security. What are the best tools (products) for these accounts, certificate accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities or real estate? When is the best in time in the journey to utilize all the different tools?
Have the right guide. Tenzig Norgay was a person who was very instrumental in the success of Sir Edmund, but his was a name that was not as famous as Sir Edmund. Tenzig was the guide who helped every aspect of the journey from the initial planning stage, selecting the right tools and even being along on the journey.
With retirement you can have the right plan and tools, but having the right advisor to guide you on your journey is very important. Here at WSECU Investment Management, we like to view ourselves as your advisor in your major journey of life. Let us know how we can help – we’ll be happy to sit down and talk with you.