Jelly not included

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Rodger On Retirement

I wondered if I heard it right when the Rabbi said, “jelly not included.” He was discussing the idea that money does not lead to happiness. He continued saying that wealth can be measured in blessing and happiness, as opposed to a large bank account. He mentioned that the peanut butter was money, and the jelly was happiness. The more I thought about this, the more I considered that working for decades does not insure a comfortable or happy retirement. In my mind, working for decades is the peanut butter and a secure and comfortable retirement is the jelly.

I have witnessed many poor outcomes in my 30 plus years as a financial advisor focusing on retirement income strategies. I have seen well thought out retirement investment strategies derailed by spouses unable to agree with each other, volatile markets, and of course, shiny new objects.

Both you and your significant other must buy in to a shared vision and strategy for guiding your investments for retirement. Discord will work to unravel the best of plans in the absence of a simple agreement on how to proceed.

Additionally, you have to have lived in a cave not to know that the stock markets take unexpected and scary drops periodically. If you own any investments tied to the stock market, these drops should not come as a surprise.

Finally, beware of the new shiny object; be it no money down real estate,
palladium and silver, diamonds, second mortgages, etc. Many investments deserve a place in a well-diversified portfolio, but there must be a governing value that will prohibit you from doing something stupid. That might be a financial plan with a well thought out plan of asset allocation.

My point is, that when planning for a secure and financially comfortable retirement, a positive outcome is far from assured. Like any important goal, it must be front and center in your mind and worked on frequently. Just as you cannot go to the gym, exercise for one day, and say “I am glad that’s done with, now I am fit!” You cannot sit with a retirement advisor once, take no further action, and look forward to happy acres bliss.

You must plan the work and work the plan. It’s not rocket science, but it will give you a better chance at securing the outcome you are looking for. Look for a wealth management team with decades of experience working with people who share similar values as you. Be certain that the team includes a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) who will work to craft a comprehensive strategy to guide you to a secure and comfortable retirement – in other words – the jelly.

Copyright 2015 by Rodger A. Friedman
Forging Bonds of Steel, LLC

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