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Can You Afford to Neglect the Details?

I recently read a book by Andy Andrews that was titled The Little Things, and if you’ve ever read Andy Andrews, you know that his style is built around telling stories. In this book, Andy recounts how the great French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, actually won the battle of Waterloo…that is, right before he lost it.

Napoleon’s calvary actually had a period in the battle where they overran the opposing forces; however, none of the French troops had brought nails that could be used to spike the English artillery, rendering the cannons useless. As the battle raged, the English slowly recaptured their artillery, and since it was still functional, the guns were turned back onto the French, who were too close to escape. The rest, as they say, is history.

As a financial advisor, this story was fascinating to me because it highlighted how important it can be to consider the impact that details can have on financial success. One of the biggest concerns that people have as they reach retirement age is whether or not they will run out of money. Some investment advisors believe that all that is required when planning for retirement is a portfolio that “performs” or “protects.” Unfortunately, there can be much more to retirement planning that finding the right asset mix or investment choices.

In fact, as a financial planner, I feel that there may be many viable ways to position retirement accounts for income during one’s retirement years. Yet, I don’t know any one investment option that is the panacea for retirement income planning.

I do believe that people planning for their financial future should consider all of the details that may impact them on their journey. Little things like whether or not to do a 401k rollover or asking for investment help can end up creating a big impact over the long-term. Some decisions (like claiming Social Security) you only get to make once.

No matter what path you take, I feel confident in giving you this piece of financial advice–your retirement plan will likely require monitoring and adjustments along the way. I believe that it’s crucial to work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional that believes in a comprehensive approach to retirement and financial life planning. Take a look at this great video from The American College to get a sense of just how intricate retirement planning can be!


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