March 2, 2011

Planning for the Summit

By Richard J. Schillig, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF
Independent Insurance and Financial Advisor

Planning for retirement is like planning to climb Mt. Everest. We plan or condition ourselves well in advance – years in advance – for the goal of reaching the retirement summit – just as climbers have conditioned and physically trained for years to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. The goal for the climber is to reach the Mt. Everest summit. The goal of the working person is ultimately to reach the retirement summit as well. Over the earning years, we save, contribute and condition our retirement plans; 401K, IRA, Roth, 403b, 457 or other pension and saving plans in order to achieve the goal of the retirement summit.

Many have achieved the goal of reaching the peak of Mt. Everest. Statistics will show however that many climbers striving to reach the peak did not survive – they died on the mountain. A google search of Mt. Everest reveals a large number of climbers – close to 200 did not survive.

But of significance is that the deaths that tragically occurred did not result from efforts to reach the goal – the summit. More deaths have occurred during the decent – coming down the mountain – rather than during the climb. That poses an interesting analogy with our retirement summit. Death occurred for climbers because some conditioned athletes that succeeded in reaching the peak actually failed to prepare or train for the decent. They died in coming down the mountain rather than climbing the mountain.

You may have reached your retirement summit – succeeded in getting to retirement. A huge word of caution – planning must continue during retirement. Retirement planning or conditioning cannot stop once we reach the retirement summit. Just as training to reach the peak of Mt. Everest must include training for the decent, retirement planning must continue after we reach our retirement summit.

How many losses have your retirement assets taken in 2008? Or during that entire first decade of this century? Sure, there has been some recovery since that awful year. But most retirement plans have a long way to go to fully recover from that huge decline. In addition, we all know another decline may occur anytime.

Our annuity portfolios offer safety from stock and mutual fund market declines. Our annuity portfolios provide security in achieving the retirement summit and continue to provide security during retirement. None of our clients utilizing our fixed annuity strategies have lost money. I encourage you to obtain information on our annuity portfolios to continue conditioning, training and retirement planning. Call us for details on those strategies.

Spring is almost here.

Richard J. Schillig, CLU,ChFC, LUTCF is an Independent Insurance and Financial Advisor with RJU and Associates, Inc. He can be reached at (563) 332-2200.