When our second son Kevin was in the 6th grade, he was a pitcher on his Little League team. His coach was a former minor league player. He knew a lot about baseball and was eager to share his knowledge with his players. Kevin was a good pitcher but hit periodic streaks where he struggled to throw strikes. When this happened, his coach would call out to Kevin from the dugout: “Make a change.”
The “make a change” mantra ties into a well-known pop culture definition of insanity: Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting the outcome to be different.
I think this has application to our retirement planning. Many boomers are way off track and have been there for a long time. They know they are off track. But nothing changes.
Some folks think that the economy or their luck needs to change to get them on track toward a successful retirement. It doesn’t work that way. YOU have to make a change. Playing the lottery or waiting for another dotcom market bubble is not a retirement plan.
The list of changes that can be made is extensive. It could be creating a budget (or changing the one you have.) Maybe it’s a re-allocation or re-balancing of your retirement portfolio. Even reading your first book about retirement planning or retirement living could provide a needed change in your entire attitude. (There is plenty of stuff to read here as well.)
To me, the act of making that first change is more important than the substance. It signifies that you are attentive to where you are and to where you need to be. That first change may not solve all of your retirement planning problems. But it could lead to others that will.
This is exactly what I have experienced. I have made a sequence of many changes in my work life and in our financial planning over the past couple of years. Each one has given me a recognizable boost in my attitude about our retirement future. One change and one boost has led to another. And then another. It’s contagious or maybe even addictive. Starting and writing this blog is part of it.
Think about it. Then make your first change. Do it this weekend. When you do, celebrate that change and tell us about it in a comment.