Preparing for Retirement is Just as Important as Preparing for a Hurricane

Do I know anything about hurricanes?  You better believe it.  I live here in Houston Texas, so that should answer that question.  As Hurricane Harvey keep me and my family trapped in our house for several days, I could not help to think and feel a lot of empathy for all the other families here that had to deal with no power, very little food and water, and the flooding of their homes.  As the recovery and the rescuing of folks continues lets hope for the best for all the people in Texas and Louisiana.

You see, preparing for retirement, is similar to preparing for a disaster.  Let me explain.  Despite the constant news coverage of impending doom in regards to Social Security many Americans are still counting on their social security payments to support them through their retirement. The sad fact is that it simply isn’t possible because the money isn’t there.  Sadder still is the fact that even if the money were there, it is doubtful that it would be enough to get the average American through their twilight years.

Americans are living longer than they have in decades past.  In addition to longer lives we are leading more active lives.  Gone are the days when retirees sat at home reading newspapers and mowing the lawn every other afternoon.  Today’s retirees are traveling, taking classes, learning to dance, and trying new things that they didn’t have the opportunity to experience while setting aside funds for the future and going about the business of raising their own families.  Now they are taking the time to do all these great things and these wonderful activities and pastimes require funds in order to enjoy.

This is the number one reason you should begin as early as possible not only setting aside funds for your retirement but making active plans on methods by which you can invest those funds in order to maximize the potential of limited funds.  This is the time that it is best to take your plans, goals, and concerns to a financial planner and see what advice he or she can give you on setting specific goals, better defining your plans, and making the most of your investment means while establishing a realistic investment strategy that will not leave you feeling strapped for cash month after month.

We often overlook the important role that a good financial planner and good planning play in our financial futures. The same could be said of our financial retirements. We need to take every opportunity that is available to us in order to maximize our money.  A good financial advisor will know of funds and strategies that we have never heard of.  It makes sense to go to an expert when it concerns our family’s future.  We see experts when it comes to matters of law, health, and taxes, recovering from a catastrophe, why on earth shouldn’t we see an expert for our finances?

Why is it so important to prepare and to have a plan?  The long and short answer to this question is so that you won’t end up needing a job in order to put food on your table once you’ve reached retirement age.  The sad truth is that many of our retired citizens are finding themselves strapped for cash financially and barely able to make ends meet.  If they are fortunate enough to have homes that are paid for, they often find the property taxes are a little more than they can handle without some sort of assistance.

Medications are expensive despite government programs to keep costs down for our elderly, and then there are those who are simply living longer than their original retirement plans had accounted for.  Combine all these factors with the fact that the cost of living has gone through unprecedented increases over the last two decades and you have some very real reasons to prepare and to make plans for your future retirement.

It is best to begin making these plans as early as possible.  It is not impossible to recover, however, if you begin the process a little later.  The problem is that you will need to make some extra investments along the way in order to make up for lost time.  The sooner you begin making plans for your financial retirement the healthier your retirement options will be.  The best way to go about this is to define your retirement goals, make plans, and then take your goals and plans to a financial advisor and get his or her input.  Make sure you always invest wisely.

As we folks in Texas and Louisiana dry out and recover from the destructive force of Hurricane Harvey, keep in mind that a possible Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose are threatening to drop even more rain on our cities.  I can’t help but to recall  the Boy Scout Motto that I learned as a kid.  “Always Be Prepared.”

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