Do you find golf to be frustrating? It takes too much work to become a solid player. My problem is that I really only became comfortable with 3 clubs......my 3 wood, 5 iron and putter. Well, I actually never was strong around the green but using a putter is a bit of a necessity! While I did take a few lessons when I was a kid, I never learned how to properly utilize all of the clubs at my disposal. Those of you who are golfers understand the challenge of becoming successful when you limit yourself to just a few tools. Rather than working with someone who could help me learn to use my other clubs efficiently, I quit. Have you ever tried to use a 5 iron for a sand shot around the green???? I'm sure someone can pull it off but I'm not "that guy." I no longer have to worry about what club I will use for a given situation but I am missing out on an activity that I used to love.
Think about how this relates to our finances. While I am not actively golfing these days, I can resume at any time and take some lessons from a professional. However, when it comes to being prepared financially, the scenario can be a bit more problematic and delaying your plan can bring chaos to your financial life.
There are a multitude of options when it comes to saving, investing, planning for retirement, etc. and it is not always easy to understand how to employ the proper tools. There is not a single solution that is appropriate for everyone. For example, I love annuities (when used in the proper scenario) but they are not for everyone, they are greatly misunderstood and often suggested for the wrong reasons. As with any financial vehicle that is chosen, it is vital that it is designed to carry you to your desired destination. Among other things, you need to evaluate your appetite for risk, time horizon and risk transfer needs. Diversification is key and working with a financial professional who is looking out for your needs and focuses not only on your current goals but also the "end game" can dramatically enhance your chance for success.
Many years ago, Wayne Gretzky was asked how he became one of the best hockey players of all time, he wisely responded "I don't skate to where the puck is but rather where it is going to be." In order to reach your income, asset and wealth transfer goals, have a plan! If you don't have one, work with a professional to help you develop one.