Know what you’re up against
“The number one comment we hear from those who complete our education programs is, ‘I wish I understood these concepts 30 years ago.’ The concepts to which our pre-retiree students are referring are:
“The basics of inflation, the magic of compounding, investment taxation, tax deferral, and the associated options to defer taxes
“The more common concepts of investments including consistent contributions, diversified portfolios, risk versus returns, rebalancing and avoiding market timing
“The mundane concepts of insurance coverage and what risks you must transfer
“Finally, the minimum estate planning tools everyone should have, and if necessary, the more advanced estate planning concepts that avoid estate taxes.
“My favorite quote from one of my business school professors is, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Assuming you have a goal to retire at a certain age with a defined cash flow, you should have a basic understanding of all the pieces of the puzzle referenced above and each should be considered as part of your plan.
“So in the end, you should start early, and have a clear plan to get where you want to be in retirement.”—Steve Doucette