Taxes, Retirement, Inflation, & Running Your Own Race – Finger Financial Five #31


“Life is a journey with problems to solve and lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.” 

It has been at least 15 years since I have done a triathlon.  A friend of mine convinced me to sign up for the one this past weekend at Lake Norman, NC.  This “sprint” triathlon is 700M swim, 18 mile bike and 3.1 mile run.  Here are some financial lessons that can learned from that experience:

  • The open water swim was to circle two buoys and swim back.  Open water swims have their own unique challenges. Unlike a pool where you can see the black line in your lane to guide you, in an open water swim, you must keep checking your direction.  I found myself swimming left and then I would have to correct course.  Financial planning is the same way. We have our intended goals or financial markers, but we must periodically check our progress.  Otherwise, we may find ourselves way off course.  Side note: I actually swam 100 meters more, because I kept veering off course.  
  • We ran from the lake up to the transition area to prepare for the bike portion of the race.  I had on a wetsuit and it proved to be very difficult to get off.  I asked one of the volunteers to help me pull it down off my shoulders.  My transition time was very long, but without her help, I would probably still be there.  It is ok to ask for help.  Help from others can save you a lot of time and keep you on course. 
  • Before the race started my tire on my bike was completely flat.  The only spare tire I had was around my waist😊.  I pumped the tire and hoped it would hold. There will ALWAYS be obstacles that can derail you from your retirement plan.  We will never anticipate all of them, but we can prepare the best we can.  Begin, adjust, and begin again.  
  • The bike course was absolutely beautiful through the rolling grassy hills of NC.  One guy flew pass me on a 40 year old 10 speed bike. I could hear him squeaking with each stroke of the peddles.  No matter how good or bad your bike, it is still up to you to ride it.  Some people will move faster with less and some will move slower with more.  We can only focus on our own next best step. That is unique to each of us.  What is your next best step? 
  • Hills are part of almost every bike course.  Without proper adjustments with gearing, they can burn your legs out.  Same is true with retirement planning.  There will be times when you may need more than your monthly income amount.  Having proper emergency funds and flexibility with your investments can get you through those challenging moments in life we all face.  
  • Inflation is like having a headwind.  You have to work a little harder to go the same speed.  You have to spend a little more, to get the same goods and services.  
  • Taxes are like having a flat tire.  You can still move forward, but it is a little harder to do so.  This is why tax planning is so important.  Proper tax planning can save you 1-3% per year.  Side note:  My tire held up for the race.  I am really glad the race was not much longer.  It was flat when I got back home. 
  • Uphill, downhill, headwind, tailwind, full tires, or flat, we still have a view. We can still enjoy the weather.  We can still feel the sun or the rain.  It is up to us to make the most of the moments we have and live our most meaningful life.  

What points struck you the most? Feel free to share. Email me anytime at [email protected] or click here for a phone appointment. 

On the lighter side, Elliott was one of two players on the Myrtle Beach High School tennis team to play in the State tournament May 17th.  He has not been playing his best for quite some time and is playing some of the best HS players in the state.  He was down 5-1 40-0 and faced 4 match points to come back and win!  What a hill to climb!  He then beat another good opponent en route to becoming an All-State player. Well done, son! Well done, INDEED!

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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