Does your plan have teeth?

By Mark Bertrang, The Creator of the Financialoscopy® on Thursday, February 8th 2024

This really happened. I couldn't believe it. When we returned home after a long weekend, I needed to take some items downstairs to where the washer and the dryer are, and where I have my work bench. You may be laughing right now wondering why Mark Bertrang would need a work bench. If I need things done that are rather complicated, I’d rather write a check for a handyman who actually knows what they are doing, but believe it or not, there are some things that I can do on my own. Above my workbench, I have a pegboard with all of these brackets for tools and sometime over the weekend, while we were gone, it all came crashing down. 

I can remember about 15 years ago when we were remodeling our basement, my wife did not care for the big piece of plywood that was on the wall to hang my hammers, screwdrivers, hack saws, etc. She thought it could be nice and organized if we hung some pegboard up there with brackets. I was “all in”. Especially because somebody else installed the pegboard. For about 15 years, it worked great, but while we were gone, everything came crashing down. So, I entered the room, and I was looking at this mess wondering what the heck happened here? After closer inspection, I could see exactly why it finally came off the wall. The nails were probably only a 1/3rd of an inch deep into the plywood. Now that I know that, I’m amazed that it lasted as long as it did.












Now I have a problem. Number one, I told my wife what had happened that evening and that I’d have to clean up the mess later in the week. Number two, Now I’ve got to figure out how to remedy this situation because again, I am not much of a handyman. Now I’ve got to get up on the workbench and fix this.

The reason I’m having this conversation with you today is that while nothing got damaged and it’s just more of an inconvenience for me, it made me wonder if, just like these nails were not long enough to hold, does your retirement plan have big enough teeth? What do I mean by teeth? Can it hold the weight of what you want your retirement to be? Will it hold up to the weight of inflation? Will it hold up to the weight of taxation? Will it hold up to the weight of your Medicare premiums maybe going up? Will it hold up to the weight of your real estate taxes going up? Will it hold up to the weight of your health? Your health may not be as good in the future as it is today. It may be completely debilitating. Do your retirement strategies/plans have big enough teeth?

Some people will say that they’ve got a retirement plan because they have a 401K. That is not a plan. That is an account. A Roth IRA is an account. A traditional IRA is an account. An annuity is an account. A CD is an account. Now, do you have a plan and does that plan have teeth? Or, did it look good for several years like the pegboard on my workbench before all of a sudden, without warning, everything came crashing down because it didn’t really have teeth?

Perhaps it’s time to look at your plan. If you don’t have a plan and just have an account, let’s talk about what that plan might look like, and let’s make certain that your plan has teeth. 15 years ago, I would not have had much of a problem crawling up on the workbench and reinstalling this, but nowadays I’m not crazy about crawling up there and doing this. I just look at the mess and shake my head back and forth and say to myself “What now?” Do not let the words “What now?” be your response to your retirement plan when you’re 70, 75, 80, or older. Do not let your plan come crashing down. Bring in an expert. Not the handyman who installed my pegboard 15 years ago, but someone who actually understands that your plan needs teeth. If you are ready, then it’s time to schedule your Financialoscopy®.

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