I am often asked by clients, “What are the most important factors that influence the success of investors in their own personal financial and retirement planning?”. Without a doubt, the two most important factors I have observed in nearly three decades as an investment advisor are procrastination and complacency.
Procrastination, unfortunately, is a trap many investors fall into, as retirement may seem to be deep into the future. They think there is plenty of time to focus on their investments in the months and years to come. Nobody plans to fail but they fail to plan. Unfortunately, procrastination also affects the retirement plans of those who are about to or just recently retired. This includes the UFOs—unintended financial obligations—that will no doubt occur, such as health concerns and the related need for long-term care.
Complacency can also be detrimental to a comfortable retirement, oftentimes being as bad as not planning at all. During the last 35 years, I have met investors who thought they had done proper planning for their golden years only to have the fickle finger of fate occur. Such cases occurred following the 1987 crash, 2001 dot-com bubble and the Great Recession of 2008. These caused tremendous damage to financial planning, and I saw numerous instances in which retirement dates had to be moved forward by years.
Make sure you have a financial plan that allows you to sleep at night. You must regularly review it and make sure all your bases are covered with a plan that can provide you with the income and a secure nest egg that can guide you to and through a comfortable retirement!
Author & Registered Principal, John Starke
John Starke has spent more than 22 years in the financial services industry. Prior to becoming a registered principal, he spent decades in the commercial real estate development and construction industry, giving him tremendous insight into alternative real estate investing, 1031 exchanges, and various trust strategies to mitigate taxation. He focuses on education, and hosts many free events to help consumers understand financial issues, often inviting other experts to speak.