A Pilot never leaves the ground without a careful check of his aircraft and on any lengthy trip a flight plan. Yet, many head out on one of the most important journeys – the journey of their lives and their retirement without a plan . Do you believe your financial destinations are important to the fulfilment of your life’s goals?
The first step in creating a flight plan is to determine the route to the destination and the exact nautical miles to be covered. This assumes that we first must determine the destination. You need to be clear about what you want to accomplish. Determining just how far away that goal is requires completing some calculations for sure.
I find that sometimes people are unclear about what they want. I facilitate discussion that leads to clarity about financial desires.
In determining the route, I find too many people think there is only one path to their desires. Perhaps they know someone who has been successful financially. They know they could never do what that person did so they think that they can never be successful. Let me tell you that there are many, many routes to financial success. You might need a little help to find the path that’s right for you. There is the direct flight route with no stopovers. There is also the trip with a few stops for sightseeing along the way. In either case the destination is the same. The lesson is- what is right for one person may be totally inappropriate for another person. Every one of us is unique and our choice of path will be exclusively our own. I can help you determine your own path.
Step two is to get a weather Briefing. Get a sense as to how difficult your goal is. Will you be flying against the wind or is there a way to get to your destination taking advantage of some tail wind? This is like considering the different accounts and products and tax implications of your decisions. I can help you find the tail wind.
Step number three is to read the aircraft manual, check the fuel flow, amount of fuel carried, useful load, takeoff weight, centre of gravity, rate of climb and what speed with what load, takeoff distance, maintenance records, and airworthiness certificates. There certainly is a lot to consider over a lifetime. Certain obstacles sometimes get in people’s way financially; there’s job loss, illness, accidents, death. We don’t plan to have bad things happen to us; however, it’s good to have thought through what we would do in the circumstances – it’s about having a plan in place to mitigate the dangers.
Step four is to determine the wind corrections for heading and ground speed and use the current altimeter for barometric pressure to correct speed. Your financial plan will be flexible to adjust to the challenges that might set you off course temporarily. If the wind has set you off course you can make corrections to get back on track because you have a flight plan filed.
Step number 5 is to look at the airport where you will arrive and get familiar with it, know what time it is attended, what runways it has and how the runways are aligned. This is the equivalent of the thought for example that you might give to your retirement. What do you want to do in retirement? Where will you spend your time? Just what does it look like when you achieve your goal?
The sixth step is to fill out the flight plan record. The importance here is to have a written retirement plan that shows your estimated income and expenses. It shows how government benefits, employer sponsored retirement plans and your own personal savings fit together to provide your income. It shows you whether you are likely to run out of money and makes allowance for inflation. I can create this document for you.
Step number seven is to not overestimate your capabilities or become complacent. This speaks to the importance of evaluating and re-evaluating your progress regularly as you go along so that we can have a discussion and make adjustments when they are necessary. Thanks to How to Create a Flight plan (