You’ve all heard that expression… especially when it involves some insane thrill seeker jumping off the edge of a mountain in a squirrel suit, or as I watched more recently, some dare devil racing down a mountain side on a dirt bike, complete with 360s in the air across large spaces! Yikes! Of course, we all know the underlying message is: let the experts handle things you don’t have the time or experience for, or interest in.
Well… there I was doing my high wire act recently, because…. I can… again! [There’s a reason my husband isn’t in the picture, as an aside. The weekend before he fell off a ladder while we were painting the kitchen. It’s a pretty helpless feeling to watch a 6’4″ 250lb guy going down in slow motion. He’s okay, save for a sprained hand, wrist and forearm.] This experience brought to mind the concept of ‘balance’. When you’re up on a ladder, or anytime you’re reaching beyond your ability to counterbalance, you’re tipping over. The other most common challenge with ladders is not having the quadriceps strength to balance yourself when you’re stepping down. So you misjudge, catch your foot, or miss the step and end up in a heap. The movement involves an eccentric contraction; the quads (those four muscles making up the front of the thigh) elongate – something we don’t spend a lot of time doing on any given day. If you’ve ever walked down a long steep hill, your quads are probably sore the next day. According to my friend Mike, an ER trauma surgeon, falling off ladders is one of the most common injuries he sees. Misjudging your ability to balance, loss of strength and kinesthetic awareness would be the primary culprits.
So what does this have to do with investing or finances? The ‘balancing act’ is one of the most critical aspects of a successful investing experience, especially when looking to withstand the occasional see-saw year, like 2018. When retirement happens and withdrawals begin, the last thing you want to have happen is to ‘tip over’ unexpectedly. Occasionally, someone says to me: ‘Well, I don’t have 20 years, I’m retiring in 5.” In reality, if you’re 60, you have to plan for 30 years; the portfolio allocation has to work for the next 30+ years, especially as you are, in effect, dis-investing. So it’s important to re-evaluate the risk versus reward equation in the context of your personal expectation for lifestyle, longevity, and any ‘life happens’ event. If you’re unsure of what you should be expecting, it’s time to come in for a ‘balance’ conversation.
Just like training for a 10K run or a 100 mile ride, it’s important to keep ‘training’ the brain and emotions to fend off the financial media machine that is attempting to get you to do yourself financial harm. That’s one of the roles of the advisor coach and ‘trainer’ – to keep you from injury as you begin new adventures in retirement.
And on the topic of training, two weeks prior to my painting adventures, I began training with a trainer that specializes in neuro-muscular movement and balance. It was purely a coincidence that I started the training then. And wow! Did it make a difference when climbing up and down that ladder multiple times to tape, cut and paint the sun room – especially with a new knee!
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your fiscal fitness check up, call or email the office to get on the calendar!