Why? Because if you are saving for retirement, you need every advantage you can get; and every level of protection you can get. As you work to earn money for your expenses, and invest your savings to reach your ultimate goal – retirement, for example – you, like the tank – could be hit with some bombs along the way. You need a financial plan that provides protection from just about anything that life throws in front of you. These situations could be unexpected tragedies like serious illness or injury, death, a fire, an accident that turns into a lawsuit – just about anything that:
- Prevents you from working, earning, and saving.
- Forces you to spend what you’ve already saved.
So in your tank, you can move slowly forward toward your goal (working, saving, investing, and just happily living your life), while safely protected by its strong exterior. Your protection is basically an emergency fund, all sorts of insurance, a basic estate plan, among other things). These critical pieces form the foundation of your ongoing financial planning program, and enable you to know (for the most part), that the money meant for your future goals can actually be used to fund those goals.
We will cover both your financial planning foundation and your future goals at great length in future posts.
Does it really need to be a tank? Not at all. Alternate plan designs include anything that is both impenetrable and mobile; like a Panic Room on wheels, The Incredible Hulk, or Michael Corleone in the Godfather II. You decide what image works best for you.
But the great thing is that once you establish your protective shell, you can rest easy, and keep moving forward, even when you find yourself under attack.
In the next post, I will show you what I think a solid financial plan looks like, and explain where you can begin, how to prioritize, and what you can delay or ignore (for now).
Daniel D’Ordine, CFP® is the owner of DDO Advisory Services, LLC, a full service financial planning and investment advisory firm in New York City and Rhinebeck, NY.
Follow me @DDOadvisory.