How War & Peace Affects Your Retirement – Finger Financial Five #71

Jeremy Finger
Jeremy Finger
Table of Contents

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – Joseph Goldstein

How do war and peace affect your retirement? 

Have you lived through a war? Think back to how things were at that time. 

You may say, but I did not like it. Ok. Understandable. 

Apart from war, have you ever felt pain? Have you ever felt heartache? Did someone die way too soon? Have you ever struggled?

If you answer yes, then read on.

If you want to know what this has to do with retirement, the answer is the same, read on…

Think back to a time when you were uncertain about the future. Was it when COVID started? At that time, did you accurately predict how it would turn out? How about 9-11? Did you foresee that event? Were you prepared for how it would change travel? Did you still travel? 

Where were you during the Gulf War? Did you know anyone who went to Afghanistan? Did you know anyone who died there?

How was it in the Cold War? Did you have drills in school to prepare for nuclear war? Do you remember any TV shows or movies that revolved around war?

From that time to now… have you ever felt love? Joy? Happiness? The sun on your face? The excitement of landing the job you wanted? Buying your first house? Having your first child? First grandchild? First day of retirement?

Did you enjoy a good book? A good movie? Dinner with friends? 

How did you experience all of that “good” in spite of all the “bad?” 

When you were experiencing all that “good,” was the “bad” still going on? Was “bad” there the whole time?

Of course.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take just the good and get rid of all the bad? Yeah, but we know that is not possible. Some people try pills, drugs, and denial in an attempt to avoid reality.  

What can you do?

Acceptance. Life comes with death. There is both peace and war. Markets go up and down. Ice cream has calories.  Accept the wholeness of all of it. That is just the way it is. 

Do what we can and let the rest go. Many people focus on things outside of their control instead addressing the problems right in front of their face. You think of war as being “out there somewhere,” but maybe you’ve had a war with a friend.  A family member.  Perhaps yourself. Did you deal with it or did it turn into a Cold War? Make peace with yourself and with others. 

Understand yourself.  Have compassion and empathy for others. Do what you can and let the rest go.

Be flexible. Little details here because it relates to retirement. Be careful with how much money you spend. But do not be flexible on who you spend your time with. When you think back to the times that mattered most in your life, did it make a difference what and where you were eating or who you were eating with? Do more of that. Emphasize the experience and de-emphasize the material. 

If you spend like there is no tomorrow, you may not have anything tomorrow. 

Pro tip: have 1-2 years of spending in cash. Want more cushion? Have 3-5 years. This should support your lifestyle even in the midst of many of personal financial hardships. If you don’t have this, are you accepting reality? Are you being flexible? 

It is simple, but hard. 





Let me know if you have any questions. You can email me at [email protected]  or click here to setup a phone appointment.

Side note: We are having a fantastic webinar on how technology can help us in retirement and the aging process. Study was done by the MIT Age Lab.  It is on March 3rd at noon.  Click here to register. If you can’t make it, register anyway and we will try to send out a replay. 

On the lighter side, I am not doing the Ironman in April. I am not prepared. I am doing the 34 miles run/walk in Antelope Canyon March 12th. Taking my own advice and being flexible…and probably very sore.  

Hope all is well with you and your family,


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

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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