It is football season! Your favorite team is playing. Win, lose or draw most of our financial lives will be the same. It is glorious to go to a fall game. The Excitement, crowd, halftime, tailgating and all the celebration of playing, winning but possibly losing.

It brings to mind a game last year. One of the key games of the year, a young man runs out on the field to kick a field goal. If he makes it, the team wins and wins national honors. If he misses they lose! He misses and the news media for the next days and weeks makes him one of the most photographed and talked about players in college football. That game was not lost because of one kick. There were missed tackles, dropped passes, fumbles and blocking assignments that were incorrect. Yet one young man was tagged as a loser of that game. Is it fair that our society does that to a person who is doing his best? If he makes that he is a hero he would be remembered forever. If he misses it, he is a goat and the reason for a terrible loss. How unfair? How unjustified!

Financial planning is much the same thing. The first time you earned a nickel delivering a paper you had a chance to save for retirement, future purchases and your financial success. Every time we spent, saved, invested or gave away dollars over the next 30 to 50 years created what we call retirement opportunities. It is not what we did in the last year before retirement or even the last five years but it is a lifetime of prudence, focus and intensity to win the game (financial game at that). It is not because markets went down just before we retired. We know markets will go down, that will happen multiple times during our retirement but we need to build a strong enough plan that those known events do not affect our ultimate winning desire and our goals for retirement. For Most of us retirement is our ultimate financial goal. Yet for many we never do what it takes to be successful until it’s too late. It is not the last play, the last day or even the last year that leads to successful retirement.

Successful retirement planning is a lifetime endeavor. Plan today, better yet teach your kids to play well today with a long-term focus and patience that leads to success so that tomorrow will be better.

Being prepared and planning well leads to winning in both football and retirement.

Wayne von Borstel, CLU, ChFC, CFP®, MSFS
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.