You’re Never Alone
As my plane’s nose pitched up and the landscape began to melt away below me, a harrowing thought entered my head.
“It’s all up to me now… The only way I’m getting down alive is if I’m able to land this plane safely.”
I’ve been anticipating this day for months.
Actually, more like decades if you count the years and years I’ve been dreaming about getting my pilot’s license.
And yet, as I began my first solo flight, I had to fight away a twinge of panic.
I was now completely alone, and totally responsible for making sure I got through this ordeal in one piece.
Kinda like starting retirement!
The Sobering Reality of Retirement
As my Cessna 172 climbed, I couldn’t help but think about how my first solo flight probably feels a lot like the first week or two of retirement.
(Yes, I know my brain is kind of wonky. Who else would be thinking about financial analogies while trying to fly a plane??)
But the similarities really are uncanny…
Retirement is something you dream about, plan for, and even study to be good at — years and years ahead of time.
It’s something we all look forward to, regardless of whether your planned retirement is one of leisure, or if you’re planning on working passionately at something you love.
The problem is, once you actually embark on retirement, reality can be quite sobering!
Who is going to make sure that your money stretches? — You are!
Who’s responsible for deciding how much to spend? — Yep, that’s you!
Who gets to decide where to invest your nest egg? — You guessed it…
To some, it can feel like a full time job just to research and make the decisions for how to financially manage retirement. And the new job can be much more stressful than your old job you were so excited to leave!
As I started thinking through the similarities between flying and retiring, it actually made me a little disappointed. Is this twinge of panic what I have to look forward to as a pilot? And is this tedious financial balancing act really what it means to retire?
You’re in Control, But That Doesn’t Mean You’re Alone
That’s when the radio lit up and I heard the tower operator…
“November-7-2-6-5-Bravo, you are cleared to land, runway niner.”
Something about the familiar voice in the tower helped me to remember all my training. After all, I’ve been through dozens of takeoffs and landings at this airport, in this very plane!
I remembered the step-by-step instructions for how to descend, line up the runway, slow down the plane, and touch down softly.
I also remembered that as a student pilot, the tower was keeping a close eye on me. If I lined the plane up wrong, or came in too fast, they would jump on the radio and give me helpful instructions.
Yes, I was in control of the plane. But that didn’t mean I was alone. I had a professional pilot in the tower watching over me and giving me instructions. And I had months of training to draw from which helped me feel confident that I could land this plane.
The same is true for your retirement.
Maybe you’re a dentist by trade. Or maybe you’re a professional pilot or air traffic controller.
The world of stocks, bonds and option contracts may not be as familiar to you as it would be to a Wall Street professional…
But that doesn’t mean you can’t fly your own retirement plane.
In fact, you’re probably just the right person to manage your retirement. Because after all, who knows your goals and dreams and retirement plans as well as you?
As you embark on your retirement, I’d love it if you thought of me similarly to the airport controller in the tower.
You’re in charge of your retirement. But I can give you helpful suggestions along the way!
I can tell you when it’s clear for takeoff and when there are dangers present. I can help guide you to the right market flight path that helps you maximize your nest egg. And I love being here when you have questions about growing and protecting your wealth.
My radio frequency — or email address — is EdgeFeedback@StPaulResearch.com, and you can always send me your questions or comments about the market. Chances are, I’ll be able to answer your question in an upcoming Daily Edge alert!
I look forward to hearing from you.
Oh, and just for kicks and giggles, here’s a picture of me and “November-7-2-6-5-Bravo” (The plane’s tail number) after my first solo.
Wishing you a safe and happy retirement!
Here’s to growing and protecting your wealth!