Planning your retirement is just like running a marathon in a lot of ways. You need to patiently and persistently train yourself for the long haul. Beginning right now is the key to success for both. Not sure when you should start saving for your retirement? There are a few posts that might help you decide that. Being a marathoner myself, below are some ways I see marathons and retirement being similar:
Know your pace
As a runner, I began my training by getting an innate sense of my pace in the first few kilometers that I ran. Similarly, you need to know your pace of investing in the beginning. Once set, you need to keep at it. There’s no decreasing it later. Ideally, your investment pace just like the endurance to run the marathon should increase eventually, by at least a small percentage every year.
The ups and downs
I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I was scared when I saw the end of my running career after an injury which jeopardized my health. But I tackled it and continue to make sure I reach the finish line. Similarly, market volatility is a no exception to your investment journey. Continuing your investment regardless, will ensure you reach the desired financial goal as per plan.
Checkpoints & reviews
I always keep a check on my pace, the path, and the distance that is left to reach the finish line. Similarly, you need to track your portfolio regularly to make sure it goes according to your financial goal.
Preparing for the finish line
Although, this seems like a joyous moment, there are a few things you need to do before that. As a runner, I always have a post-race care plan prior to reaching the finish line - icing muscles, refueling, rehydrating. A retiree should always plan on the post-retirement financial planning, mode of cash-flow and adjusting your savings before clocking out on the last day.
Whether a marathon or retirement, it's not about how fast you got to the finish line. It's about how well you’ve managed yourself throughout and the celebrations for the goal reached that follows.