Retirement Planning – Where Do I Start?

Retirement Planning – Where Do I Start?

The other night it was about 11:30 pm, I’m sleeping, and I heard something fly into my room. Wake up a little bit freaked out because I hate bats. I heard it fly and I thought I heard a flutter, but then I heard it kind of go behind the TV, or so I thought. I turn on my flashlight on my phone, because I am not moving, and I’m looking, but nothing is swooping at that point. Maybe I’m safe! Maybe it’s a bird. But the cat is at the wall pawing and I know something is behind that TV. 

At that point, I had a choice. I can get up and look, but I’m telling you I was so worried that it was a bat and I was like, I’m going to drop to the floor with a blanket over my head and I’m going to be calling someone to please come to help me, but then I won’t have any idea where this bat went. Instead, I’m laying there with the flashlight and I’m looking at the TV, trying to ponder what to do. I’m thinking about who I can call that’s still awake at 11 pm. I finally call my friend whose teenage son I know is awake and only lives a few blocks away. I know that they can come to help me with whatever is behind the TV.

In my brain I’m thinking, if it’s a bird, I can handle a bird. Birds don’t scare me and I know it will probably just flutter down and it will be fine. I thought that I had heard fluttering, which means a bird, right? However, the other part of me is thinking, it is 11:30 pm at night, where in the world did the cat find a bird in the middle of the night to drag into my house? It has to be a bat!

I was paralyzed with fear until my friend’s son arrived. At that point I was brave enough to get up, we looked together, and sure enough, it was just this tiny little bird. The cat had found this bird somewhere and had dragged it in.

My friend’s son moved the tv, the bird fluttered to the ground, he gently picked it up and took it back outside to release it. This meant that I could go back to sleep. 

Now he has a great story to tell everyone about he rescued me from this “bat” in the middle of the night, but this also made me start thinking of something. As I was laying there in bed, paralyzed and thinking about what was behind my tv, I thought about what I’ve heard from clients.

Retirement Planning Risks

Oftentimes our clients will say that they’re afraid to open their statements because they don’t know what the statements say or what they mean.

Retirement Planning - Bertram Financial

This is especially true during times of extreme volatility like we have experienced this year. Even though the summer people continue to be scared to open their statements because they’re worried about what the balance will say. Some have even said that the last time they actually reviewed their balance was last December because they are scared to look.

When I heard this I thought of the night I was in my bed, with the flashlight, scared to find out what was waiting for me behind the TV. I didn’t want to look because if it turned out to be a bat, I know I would be scared. But, what was behind the TV wasn’t going to go away just because I didn’t look. I would have not been able to sleep and the “bat” would have still been behind the TV.

The same goes for our clients. They may not be looking at their statements, but they’re probably losing sleep too, worrying about what their balance might be or what information the statement might contain.

How To Start Retirement Planning


With that in mind, one of the first steps to take with retirement planning is looking at what you have. What’s “behind the tv”? What do you really have and where do you start?

I’m not just talking about the amount of money that you may have, but also, what kind of risk do you have? We have to know to set your retirement plan on the right path.

As you’re starting to prepare for retirement, you have to know what you really have. It can be scary to look and know how much risk might exist. That’s okay. That’s why we’re here. Sometimes you just need some help and guidance to tame your fears and manage your risk. We will be that person who will be by your side, help you really examine what you currently have, and help you figure it out.

Just like my son’s friend who helped me conquer the “bat” behind the TV, we will be there every step of the way to comfort you, guide you, and help you to figure out how to plan your Dream Retirement.

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