Without a Plan You’ll Be Left in the Cold

Football fans in extreme winter gear

By Scott Keegan, CFP®, ChFC®, COO & Wealth Advisor

Personally, I hate the cold, but my love for the Kansas City Chiefs is greater. Recently my wife, Claire, and I went to the Chiefs and Dolphins Playoff game and let me tell you, it was cold! The temperature at kickoff was a bitter -4 degrees with a wind chill of -27 degrees. In the upper section you could feel every bit of that wind chill. It was the coldest game in Arrowhead stadium history and the 4th coldest game in NFL history.

Honestly though, I really didn’t get cold until halfway through the 3rd quarter. It’s not because I’m ridiculously tough that I didn’t get cold but because we planned, checked, and rechecked all our gear to make sure we were ready for what lie ahead. Between my 4 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of gloves, and multiple stocking caps, I felt ready. Claire and I laid everything out the day before, checked to make sure we weren’t missing any layers or items, and even checked a few times before we hit the road to make sure we had anything and everything we could need to stay warm.

Walking into the stadium most of the other fans I saw looked like they were well prepared for the game. Many had multiple layers, every inch of their body covered, and even cardboard to stand on so the ground didn’t steal their body heat. But there were a few people who looked like they really didn’t know what they were in for. Miami’s 70-degree winters didn’t prepare them for a Midwest winter night!

It was pretty obvious who was going to last the whole game and who’d be headed out at halftime. When halftime came nearly everyone went to the bathrooms or warming stations to thaw out. As we walked back in for the second half, I saw a lot of people who were underdressed headed toward the parking lot.  Sure enough, in the second half as I looked around the stands the only people left were those covered head to toe with multiple layers. These were the people that were well prepared and ready to see the Chiefs cap off the night with a win.

What does cold weather have to do with retirement planning?

This is a lot like retirement planning. It takes time, thought, and a well-designed plan to make sure you’re prepared for whatever curveballs are waiting for you. It’s not something you can just wing or start to look at the day you want to retire. Having a plan in place makes sure that you know where you are headed and want to achieve, how to get there the most efficient way possible, and built in room for error if everything doesn’t go according to plan because it rarely does.

And just like we checked and rechecked to make sure we had everything we needed to be ready, this is exactly what you have to do with your financial plan. It needs regular periodic updating and checking to make sure it is still the best and most efficient plan for you. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Variables will constantly change, just like the weather (unfortunately for us at the game all it did was get colder).

Planning and regular updating with a qualified and knowledgeable financial planner will put you in the best position to retire with confidence and not be standing in the cold ,wishing you had prepared more when time was on your side.

If you would like to start putting together your financial plan, give us a call, we’d love to help! If you’re already a client and it’s time to update or check your plan, schedule online at calendly.com/gertsemawealth or give us a call at 816-259-5060.

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