I know, this is a picture of a zip line course but I suspect this is also what financial planning for retirement looks like too. Mike and I are 50 and we've done a good job up until now. I have always been a saver (and a spender) and with all but one kid out of college, we are able to put even more money aside to pay down debt or to increase our contribution to the 401k. I can remember my grandmother telling me that I needed to always save, even if it was only a quarter a week. I had no idea how right she was, but I've taken this about as far as I am qualified to. I've got a debt reduction plan in place that should, assuming no major catastrophic work related events, have us debt free when we turn 55. I've tallied up our assets, our monthly costs today, what they might be at retirement, how much we can expect from social security at both age 67 and 72... I know our net worth. I know a lot, but what worries me is what I don't know. The questions I don't even know to ask. I'm worried that the landscape isn't some wide open field but looks a lot more like this zip line course - but I don't know enough to see it.
I do know the answer is to hire a financial planner. We need the expertise that a specialist has. There are tax considerations that I'm completely unaware of I am sure. But I worry about finding the right person. It seems like such a crapshoot. Maybe I will get an honest person who is incredibly competent. Or maybe I will get the next Bernie Madoff. Who knows?
But how lucky are we that 'finding a good financial planner to assist in our retirement planning' is even something we are thinking about? Unless there is some sort of major financial meltdown that destroys everything we've saved, we won't have to work until we are 65. With the destruction of the middle class in America, that is not a common situation to be in. I am very sure that most people would be thrilled to be on the zip line course that we are likely looking at.