#10: "I'm too busy"
So many people want to plan for a better retirement, but they
don't have time. They think they'll take care of it tomorrow or
the day after that…and before they know it, several years have
gone by. Inertia is the hardest thing for most people to
overcome. Stop procrastinating and start planning today.
#9: "It's too soon"
It is never too soon! Retirement planning is about making
decisions to help you become financially secure. That means
that you need to make a conscious decision to spend less than
you earn and limit your debt. This is the surest way to
financial independence and it is never too soon to start that
#8: "It's too late"
It is never too late! There might be options available to you
of which you are unaware. Income generating strategies are
constantly evolving and there might be a strategy which you
have not yet considered. Even if you have a plan in place, it
is prudent to review it on a regular basis.
#7: "I don't need to"
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." The financial planning
process can uncover many potential problems of which one may be
unaware. For example, a proper financial plan will examine your
cash flow, your insurance coverage, your investments, your
estate plan and how taxes effect your financial decisions in
all of these areas. The future is always uncertain, but a good
financial plan enables one to examine their financial security
and develop a contingent plan for those unexpected events.
#6: "My goals are too big"
Many people set goals that are way over their head. This can
overwhelm them and prevent them from taking action. Break your
big goals into smaller ones. It's like walking up a set of
stairs. There is no way you can leap to the top! Each step you
take, however, gets you to the top of the stairs. A financial
plan can work best when you implement it incrementally over
#5: "My finances are a mess"
This is one of the hardest things for many people to face -
being in denial and wishing that one's financial situation will
solve itself. There are many Americans who have had several
jobs over the last decade and have two, three or more 401(k)
accounts. Taking the first step to simplifying your financial
life may help eliminate some of this stress. A proper financial
plan helps you organize your finances and also provides a track
for you to follow.
#4: "The Government will take care of me"
Many Americans, especially younger Americans, already recognize
that this is not a viable solution. No one knows what
government benefits will be available or if they will be
modified compared to today. Once again, a prudent solution is
to plan for the worst case and then enjoy the benefits of your
planning if it does not occur.
#3: "I have enough saved in my 401(k), I'll be
Many Americans have not considered the next step for their
retirement program. That is, how will one generate income
without running out of assets during retirement? Consideration
must be given to the potential effects of inflation, taxes and
individual longevity in comparison to your retirement
#2: "I don't want to think about it"
The biggest obstacle to financial success is our own behavior.
Ignoring the reality of the situation won't solve the problem.
Taking the first step toward financial security starts with the
gathering and analyzing the facts. It is not easy, but the
rewards can be satisfying.
#1: "I don't know how"
There are people who love the tiny details of their financial
situation and are not intimidated by the prospect of delving
into those details. Most people, however, don't have the time
or temperament to understand their financial situation. That is
why an objective analysis by a financial planner can provide a
window into your financial life that will help you to achieve
the goal of financial independence, also known as a successful
FPA member John F. McAvoy, CFP®, is a principal with
Waterstone Retirement Services in Canton, Mass. Securities
offered through Investors Capital Corporation, Member
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