Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
-former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Knowledge is the key to succeeding financially. As the above quote illustrates, we all have a certain amount of “knowledge” – some of which is correct and some of which is not. We are also all aware that there are facts and knowledge that exist outside of our range of education and experience. But most of us are blissfully ignorant of those things that we don’t know and aren’t even aware that they exist.
To complicate matters, there are people who stand to profit from our ignorance and all too often we allow these people to control our money. There are also a number of truly honest people that teach us incorrect “knowledge” because that's what they were taught incorrectly as well. However, if you place your hand on a hot stove, whether you know it’s hot or not, the result is the same – you’re going to get burned. Many times the public can be confused between what is good, sound advice and someone’s desire to sell books and media advertising or be recognized by a company for their sales activity. Because of this confusion, most people may lose more money, unknowingly and unnecessarily, than they can ever accumulate in their lifelong savings.
You can see the dilemma that people must deal with. In every aspect of their lives, from the media, left and right-wing politics and even some religions, people are being told what to think, not how and why to think. And because most people don’t spend a great amount of time studying financial matters, it’s easy for them to get their hands burnt on the stove so to speak.
At Compass Financial Strategies, our goal is to take our years of learning and experience in this area and simplify things for you by transferring that knowledge to you – not to play the “game” of retirement for you, but rather to teach you concepts and strategies that are time-tested and have proven themselves to be effective. Not just the “what,” but the “how” and “why” as well. We want you to break through all the misinformation that you may have accepted at face value and understand the principles so well that you won’t need our help with most financial decisions going forward.
The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.
The second element of a successful retirement plan is a proven strategy. A strategy is a well thought out process to help you to achieve a given result. This strategy must take into account the process that must occur and each of the steps along the way. The key to a successful retirement strategy is to start with the end in mind.
Most everyone is doing something to prepare for retirement, but they don't really have a strategy. You see, contributing to a 401k is not a strategy. Buying stocks, bonds and mutual funds is not a strategy. Owning disability and life insurance is not a strategy.
A strategy is not a bunch of disparate gears performing their own function in their own little world. A strategy involves knowing what each gear does and how each one functions in harmony with the overall operation of your plan.
Are you 100% sure you're going to have a great retirement, or do you have some doubt?
It is important to understand the process that will take place from now through the end of your life if you're to enjoy a successful retirement.
The journey isn't just to the top of the mountain. Getting all the way back down safely is the real goal and the most difficult part. Were you aware that most fatalities occur on the downward trek rather than the climb? There are lessons to be learned here in planning your retirement.
Retirement isn't an end unto itself - it's a constantly changing journey. Retirement planning isn't a one-and-done event either - it's a continual process that should be entrusted to someone who puts you, not his/her pocketbook, at the center of the equation.
Are you ready for retirement? If the thought of retiring is overwhelming, let us help by showing you how easy it can be to plan for the future.
Would You Like to Have a Tax-Free Retirement?
Is a tax-free retirement really possible? The answer to that question is, largely, yes.