Being Prepared To Jump Into Retirement – Finger Financial Five #44

“Life, if well lived, is long enough.” – Seneca

The typical retirement couple goes like this:  save in 401k or IRA, live within means, sell house up North and move down South to the Myrtle Beach area for lower taxes and warmer weather. 

LIVING in retirement is VERY DIFFERENT than SAVING for retirement. 

How?  Like most Finger Financial Five’s, let me share a story…

One of my bucket list items was to parachute out of an airplane.  I heard they had a place in Walterboro, SC.  That was only an hour south of where I was going to college at the time at the College of Charleston.   

You can take a day long course and jump by yourself.   There were two jump masters who jumped with you and held your arms and legs as you fell.  There were many steps to this whole process.  How you stepped out of the plane to get in position.  Where you would look in preparation for the jump.  When you would look at your altimeter to see what your altitude is.  How you would arch your back, so your center of gravity would be your belly and you would fall belly down.  Look at the horizon, back at the altimeter, then back to the horizon.  Then look down, grab the chute release, and pull to open the chute.  

People often ask me, was the scariest part the jumping off the plane?  No, it wasn’t.  I had so many steps to think about. Didn’t have time to be scared.  

The scariest part was pulling the chute.  It was the last step.  Knowing that after that, I would not have anything else to think about.  What would I do?  What would I think about?  After the chute opened, I was dangling by some rope 5000 feet in the air.  I felt out of control; uncomfortable.  This was scary.  I kept saying to myself, “Get me down, get me down, get me down.” 

I was veering off course.  I thought I may land in those bushes.  Later I saw those were 90-foot-tall pine trees.  Suddenly a voice in my head started guiding me to steer the parachute.  Pull right, pull left.  Enjoy the view.  No, this wasn’t divine guidance.  It was a jumpmaster on the ground, talking to the earpiece in my helmet.

With his guidance, I got back on course and pulled the toggles at the exact right time for a perfect tippy toe landing.  

Same is true with retirement.  You spend all your life working, raising a family, seeing them off to school or out of the house, you become empty nesters, you get close to retirement.  You keep focusing on what you think are the right steps.  The closer you get toward the end, the scarier it can become.  

Without proper training, without the right steps, without guidance, many people are too fearful to even leave the ground.  Others find the courage and guidance to step out of that plane and pull that chute.  

Yes, retirement planning can be hard.  Yes, there are many decisions to make.  It is a lot less scary when you have someone guiding you.  Making sure you have a backup chute.  Making sure that you go through the necessary steps.  Reminding you to enjoy the view.  

We do not know how much time we have left.  We might as well do our very best to savor the moments. And as always, enjoy the view.   

The poet Liam Porter has a great way to say it in Take Time.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Feel free to email me at [email protected] or CLICK HERE for a phone appointment. 

On the lighter side, got my triathlon bike fitted by Outspoken Bikes in Columbia, SC.   They did a great job.  Rode 2 hours on Sunday.  Felt great.  The bike will be the longest part of the Ironman, 112 miles. Should take me 8-9 hours.  Hope my back stays healthy.  If I give myself 6 hours or so for the marathon, I should be able to make to the finish line before the 17-hour cut off.  There are cut off check points on the swim, bike and run.  I will need to make each check point in time to stay in race.  I am starting to feel the excitement and nervousness.   

Hope all is well with you and your family,

Jeremy Finger, CFP®, CIMA®, CRPC®, CPFA

Founder & CEO
Wealth Management Advisor

Finger Financial Five – 5 points in 5 minutes or less – is to provide you with a weekly shot of useful financial information.  My intention is to share principles, so that you will have more clarity and peace, that help you make better financial decisions.

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Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor; DBA Riverbend Wealth Management.

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information and provided by Riverbend Wealth Management. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Stratos Wealth Partners and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.


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