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Retirement Certainty Scorecard™

 
  DISAGREE AGREE
Indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the statements below.
1

I have a clear, written and actionable retirement plan that shows my current financial position (Point A) and my ultimate future (Point B) and sets a path to get from A to B.

2

I review my written retirement plan each and every year and adjust it for changes in my life. I stress test my plan's viability by changing variables for the worst case scenario.

3

I know exactly what my personal required rate of return (PRROR) is that will allow me to achieve all of my retirement goals. I plan my investment strategy around and work toward that PRROR.

4

I have an investment plan which focuses an equal amount of time on making money as it does on not losing it, simultaneously advancing and protecting my assets.

5

I know that I am utilizing independent advice and strategies which specifically fit my individual situation.

6

I review all of my investments each and every year based on how the market and economy are responding and make adjustments and/or rebalances at least annually or as needed.

7

I am confident with all of my insurances knowing that the way they are positioned and funded will protect me and my family for any unforeseen negative events.

8

I am confident that my estate planning documents and beneficiary designations are all set up to maximize the benefits that my family receives.

9

I am well qualified or utilizing professionals that are well qualified to give the best possible advice for my retirement, investment, estate and tax planning.

10

My retirement planning is set up (by me or my advisor) in a way that requires little daily, weekly or monthly attention so that I can enjoy life to its fullest.

As I consider everything that will allow me to live most comfortably during my retirement, the thing that keeps me up at night is:

Thank you for completing the Retirement Certainty Scorecard™.

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Boomers, Don’t Get Stuck with the ‘Middle Seat’ in Retirement

Boomers, Don’t Get Stuck with the ‘Middle Seat’ in Retirement

 

I was traveling last week and had to take a flight from San Diego to Chicago and then on to Washington, DC. Knowing the first leg of the trip to Chicago was going to be a four hour flight, I made sure that my boarding pass entitled me to sit in an aisle seat.
 
As I was boarding the plane, I was close enough to see someone sitting in my aisle seat. As I approached this man, I said, “Sir, I think you are in my seat, I have 28C. He replied, “Oh, you are right, I have 28B. But would you mind switching, I just had back surgery”? So I thought about it, gave a ‘not so happy look’ and told him I would switch. He remarked that he would buy me a drink and food or whatever I wanted. I said, “no problem.”
 
The flight got underway and this gentleman was a talkative one. He began to tell me about how ever since his surgery he had not been able to work out and that is how he got his rather large belly (his words). He also said that he had just gotten divorced six years ago and that the split had ‘set him back.’ Once he found out that I was a Boomer Retirement Specialist, he said that he really needed someone like me because he was sixty two and had not really done much to prepare for retirement.
 
By now, the drink and snack service had begun and it was our turn to order. He ordered a snack and got out his credit card and paid. Then the flight attendant took my order of a snack box and a glass of red wine. Interestingly, he did not offer up his credit card as he had promised when I gave him my seat. Surprised, I pulled out my credit card and paid for my food and drink.
 
As the conversation continued, this ‘seat stealer’ told me that he was on his way to Maine and that he had worked it out to meet with his daughter on the layover. I asked how long his layover was and he told me it would be about an hour. A little surprised, I asked if that would be possible to leave the terminal, meet her and then get back through security and still make his flight. He thought about it and agreed it would probably not work out. I was a little surprised that he had not thought of this.
 
So as the conversation continued, I had told him that I just had rotator cuff surgery a few months ago and that I was recuperating as well. He must had forgotten that he told me that he had just had back surgery to get me to agree to give him my seat, because the next words out of his mouth made me really mad. He said, “Well my back surgery was eleven years ago.” That’s right, when he wanted my seat, he said he just had it and then I find out it was eleven years ago. I was not happy and for the rest of the flight I wore my head phones and read my book.
 
While this incident is probably not uncommon, it really got me to think about this guy’s situation. He is age 62, is significantly overweight (he admitted that to me), recently divorced (and probably split he and his former wife’s assets in half), and had not done anything to plan for retirement. He did not plan well enough to meet his daughter on the layover. And obviously did not arrange to have an aisle seat when he had ‘back problems.’ And I realized; first, I was duped, but second, that is the America way. We, as a nation, are not savers or planners and many are not ready for retirement.
 
So this message is for that man that wrongly sat in 28C and to the rest of the Boomers out there. Retirement is coming. You cannot avoid it, but only temporarily postpone it. You have to take the bull by the horns, and plan for it. You must figure out what you will need to do to be prepared for when your paycheck stops and social security starts. Will you have enough money? Will you make it?
 
Or will you just be stuck with a middle seat hoping you talk your way out of it. It is all up to you.
 
 

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