I was riding my bike this past weekend on a particularly windy day and my thoughts came around to a perfect metaphor for investing for retirement. While there is certainly joy in the journey there are also times of stress and concern. Anyone who runs or cycles is well aware of the work necessary to overcome a head-wind or a substantial hill.
Thus it is with long-term investing. It is a very long journey and requires patience, time and a great deal of work. There will be times of exuberance and times of challenge. You must always remember that the work you put in will be rewarded and the journey eventually fulfilling for the effort you have expended.
Windy days will come and go and a head-wind will certainly require extra effort and a slower pace. Hills too will occasionally stand in your path but with patience and determination they can be surmounted and we can continue on our journey. It helps to have a companion on the journey so that you can assist each other – in the case of cycling sharing the lead position allows the follower to rest while drafting on the leader.
Proper conditioning and the right equipment can also help to overcome some of the stress and discomfort of these challenges. Experience - time in the saddle - and practice can condition you to be prepared for the occasional head-winds. Likewise having the proper equipment can lessen the work required and the effort necessary to succeed. As in investing, experience, knowledge and the proper tools are necessary to reach your goals.
With all worthwhile endeavors, having a coach to teach you techniques, set up your training schedule, monitor your progress, and make sure you have the proper equipment can make the difference between failure and success. So it is with your retirement planning. A caring fee-only Certified Financial Planner can make sure that you are conditioned, prepared, educated and well equipped to meet the challenges of the journey and to overcome the occasional wind and hills that surely lie ahead.
Let us know if we can assist in your journey to the retirement lifestyle that you desire – and keep pedaling!