Written By: Troy Johnson
The New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams will battle it out in Super Bowl LIII. There’s no doubt that millions of people will tune in to watch this game, or at least to watch the commercials. At this point, you can get all the sports commentary that you want on this game, so we will leave that to the professionals. However, as retirement income planning professionals, we think the “big game” can teach you a thing or two about your retirement.
Only the ones who put in the extra effort make it.
There are millions and millions of football players across the globe. A decent sized group of these will play college football. A much smaller group will make it to the NFL. Finally, an even smaller group will be able to call themselves Super Bowl Champions. Part of what sets this group apart is that they put in the extra effort. These are the people that go back to the practice field or the gym when practice is over and continue to work on drills by themselves. They make the sacrifices and do the things that no one else is doing.
The same goes for your retirement. It will likely take extra effort to get to where you want to be in retirement. For a lot of people, contributing into your 401(K) or other company sponsored plan to receive the matching percentage your employer offers will not be enough effort to reach your retirement goals. Speaking of those sacrifices, Dave Ramsey says “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” This means making sacrifices now while you are accumulating your retirement nest egg. This might mean you buy a good used car rather than a new one that will lose half its value in a couple of years. This also means putting yourself in a position where you can contribute as much as possible to your retirement accounts by staying allergic to debt. Are you putting in the extra effort to achieve the kind of retirement you want to have?
Making it to the big game doesn’t make you a champion.
When Super Bowl LIII is finished, only one team will take home the Lombardi Trophy. The players on the field know that making it to the Super Bowl is not the goal. The goal is winning the Super Bowl. Each team will have many challenges to overcome during the game. These challenges show up in the form of a tough opponent, bad calls by the officials, and the threat injury during the game.
The same is true with retirement. Making it to retirement with a sizeable nest egg is only half the battle. Now you have to win the game and make that money last for the rest of your life. There are sure to be some challenges in retirement as well. The “tough opponent” in your retirement can sometimes be the market. The “bad calls” are the things that you cannot avoid or see coming such as terrorist attacks. The “injury” that can happen in your retirement are unplanned medical or long-term care expenses. In order to give yourself a better chance of winning in retirement, you need a written plan that is built to address and overcome these challenges.
Your success or failure affects more than just you.
Either the Patriots or the Rams will win the Super Bowl, but many people that are not part of the game will be affected. Teammates and even fans will be greatly affected by the outcome of this game. There will be some people that show up to work on Monday in the best mood imaginable. Others may not even go to work on Monday because “their team” lost. It’s kind of funny how attached we get to these teams that we are not really a part of.
Don’t think that your success or failure in retirement only affects you. It also affects your “teammates”, your family. There is a growing trend in the U.S. of retirees running out of money and having to move in with their kids. While your kids may be open to the idea of you moving in with them in your old age, it will almost certainly cause at least some emotional or financial stress for them. Your success in retirement affects more than just you as well.
Enjoy the Super Bowl as you watch it, but also take into consideration what you can learn about your retirement from the big game. And if you are reaching the fourth quarter of your work life and don’t have a financial coach to help you win in the game of retirement, give us a call. We can help!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.