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Make no assumptions. Instead “Think Again”.

During a never ending flow of outsized opinions…where opinion is news and the news is opinion, “Make no assumptions” may be the timeliest advice of all. 


Political beliefs.  Life choices.  Retirement financial decisions.


For this reason a conversation with a great client and friend was significant to me last week.


My client heard Adam Grant speak about his latest book “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know”.


One piece of advice that Mr. Grant offered was to have someone in your life that would challenge or introduce you to see things from a different angle. Mr. Grant clearly wasn’t referring to someone that wanted to aggressively press opposing political views into you, but a more subtle approach that introduces you to doubt around your firmest views while opening your mind to things you haven’t considered.  


My client thought I was one of those people in his life.  And his comment made my day. 


Do you have an individual that you trust to challenge you?


Do they challenge you on your personal beliefs?  Political biases?  Assumptions about money?


Every day I work hard to avoid assumptions, because I’m probably wrong about something. And when I feel overly confident, I stop and force myself to think again.


As you approach retirement you’ll have to make some assumptions.  And while some assumptions are necessary, it’s key to eliminate as many (and as early) as possible during your planning.  When you do have to make assumptions, it’s important to make them in an educated way.


Here are three (of many) assumptions that I see people get wrong when planning for retirement.


I need a large amount of money/big annual returns to make my retirement work.


The fact: Great planning is the key to retirement success. When you have financial clarity and confidence, you’ll be more relaxed and, likely, enjoy your retirement more. You’ll probably even live longer!  Sure, more money can make things easier but trying for aggressive returns can not only damage your retirement but also your head and your heart.  Instead, planning can help you understand how early you can retire and how conservative you can invest and still have a successful retirement.


I’ll be fine if I keep working until my retirement date.


The fact: Unfortunately, according to Forbes, you have a 50% chance of retiring early for reasons out of your control. You should have a plan that considers this contingency, shouldn’t you? What’s worse than running out of money during retirement? How about working at a job that stresses you so badly that you pass earlier than expected in retirement.


And the biggest misconception:  


I don’t need to start planning yet. OR….  It’s too late for planning to help me.


The fact: While it’s true the earlier you start the better off you’ll be, it’s never too late to create a great plan.  Your retirement may be 20 or even 30 years long and each educated action you take as you prepare for or are in retirement will compound and likely add to your retirement success.


Compound your knowledge. Your confidence. Your money.  


If you can grow your retirement confidence and increase your chances of reaching your financial goals by proactively planning, shouldn’t you start planning now?



Are you ready to take your retirement seriously? I know that taking the first step can be the hardest, that’s why I’ve made it as easy as possible. Just click below to schedule your Free No-Obligation Retirement Planning Call with me and get started towards your retirement success.

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.

The Retirement Income Blog

Advice and perspective for the soon-to-be-retiree

Creating a retirement plan requires making some complicated decisions about our financial lives.

But complicated doesn’t have to mean confusing

My goal is to break down key decisions and concepts, frame them in the context of your retirement, and help you make smart, confident decisions about your retirement.

Because you only retire once.

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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.