As many of you know our family spent our summer vacation first in Omaha for the Olympic trials and then in Rio for the Olympics to watch our daughter Kathleen compete for the USA in swimming. It was beyond a dream come true! Being an Olympian was amazing but the winning of a gold and silver medal was just incredible. She has been preparing for this moment for a very long time and has become an inspiration for those with Crohn’s disease in the process which means so much to her. As I made the trip to Rio with my husband and older daughter, Rachel, we had no idea of the results to come but we knew Kathleen was ready and confident in her preparation. While reflecting on this amazing experience I was able to make a connection on the similarities of preparing for the Olympics and preparing for one’s financial future. Below I have provided some steps to a gold medal approach to financial well being. We hope that by the end of the article you will have a better understanding of the importance of retirement planning.
- Having a plan and a strategy to reach your goals is essential.
Kathleen was a prolific goal setter and had yearly goal setting meetings with her coaches where she set long and short term goals and evaluated her progress. She never lost sight of the next rung on the ladder whether it was a new qualifying time/team or stroke improvement. She adjusted and evaluated in order to keep moving forward to reach her goals. Your financial future is the same. The primary objective of a financial plan is to help you clarify your unique goals and dreams and set priorities so that you may enjoy a comfortable lifestyle today and a secure and dependable income at retirement.
- Commitment is Paramount
Kathleen and other successful athletes not only have goals but they are committed to their plan in ways we can hardly imagine. It is hard to comprehend the sheer number of hours she put into training, both in and out of the pool, six days a week, before and after school. Kathleen was even willing to train in another city just for the opportunities it would provide. She was committed to the process. Having a plan is a great first step but staying committed to your goals and your plan for the long haul will give you the best chance of achieving financial wellbeing.
- Believe in yourself, your coaches (advisors), and never give up!
As you may know, Kathleen was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 13 shortly after she broke her first two National Age Group records. This was an unbelievable setback but she absolutely never gave up. It has definitely not been an easy road to silver and gold and it has taken a lot of faith but she persevered! Kathleen always believed in herself and consciously surrounded herself with coaches and medical personnel who believed in her and supported her. There may be adversity or setbacks along the way, but having the right relationships that support and guide you are so important. Having a Certified Financial Planner to help you manage life’s transitions such as divorce, death of a spouse, loss of a job and retirement helps you not only plan for the unexpected but to also move forward. Kathleen never lost sight of her goals and made adjustments in order to get where she wanted to go. Your financial future is the same.
When Kathleen steps up on the blocks she knows she has done what she can to be prepared. Feeling prepared is what helps give athletes confidence and peace of mind. So have a plan, be committed, and work with a trusted Certified Financial Planner to guide you through life's transitions. Go for the gold!