Take control of your retirement plan

Take Back Control Part 1

In 2020, politics, COVID-19 and the media have pushed us around – taking an enormous emotional toll, making us feel out of control.

Focusing on things I cannot control leaves me frustrated and stressed. 

So I focus on what I can control.

You should do the same.


Take back control and leave your stress, worry and frustration behind.


In this two part post, I’ll outline the 4 steps to take back control…


Let’s start with the first two steps…

  1. Identify your fears 
  2. Determine what you can control.


Realistically, you could apply this 4 step process to many aspects of your life, not just your retirement plan/investments.  But hey, I’m a retirement planner. Let’s dive in…


Step One: Identify your fears. 


Ask yourself “What am I afraid will happen?” 


Are you concerned that…

  • The Presidential Election will be won by the wrong party?
  • The stock market will crash and your investments will lose money?
  • Your cost of healthcare and inflation will rise?
  • The economy won’t recover because of Covid-19?
  • The US government is spending too much money?
  • The government could reduce your Social Security?
  • The US is simply on the wrong path?


Any of the aforementioned in isolation could be stressful.  Yet, many I speak to are worried about quite a few of the above.

And while I understand both your and my fears, ruminating about things you can’t control isn’t helpful, or healthy. 


Preparing for events we cannot control is.


So the question really becomes…

If I’m concerned or fearful, what should I do about it?


Of note: allow yourself to worry, even catastrophize, for 15 minutes per day. Then, put your concerns and fears on a shelf. Don’t talk about them, read about them or listen to the media that emphasizes them for the rest of the day.  Take a daily vacation from the things you can’t control.


Step Two: Determine what you can control.

You can control your time, your energy and your life’s outlook and approach.

Here are a few of the things you can control in your retirement:

  1. How you prepare prior to retiring
  2. How you transition in/when you take SS
  3. How much you spend, donate & gift
  4. Your withdrawal strategy/Roth conversion strategy
  5. Your investment approach/asset location strategy
  6. Your retirement income strategy/structure
  7. The thoroughness of your planning


Retirement planning can be exciting (not Tesla stock exciting) but seeing your life’s efforts successfully come together in your retirement plan has been exciting, relieving and extremely rewarding for my clients.


And the best part is you can control all of the above.


Watch for Part 2 of this post where I’ll discuss Steps 3 and 4 of taking back control.

Skip ahead?  See how a Retirement Plan can help you take back control here


Thanks to Miguel Ángel Sanz for sharing their work on Unsplash.

Please Note:  Speak to your tax, legal or financial advisor for specific advice about your particular plans and situation.

John Bubello Retirement Financial Advisor

John R. Bubello CFP®

I specialize in Retirement Planning & Investment Management.

My clients worry less, maximize their money, avoid mistakes and retire with clarity and confidence.

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John R. Bubello is an investment advisor representative of and offers investment advisory services through Compass Retirement, LLC, a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of Connecticut, State of Florida, State of North Carolina and other jurisdictions where registered or exempted.