What Does a Floating BMW Have To Do With Retirement Planning?

Car on flooded roadA few weeks ago, on a Wednesday, we had a terrible storm that dumped over 5 inches of rain in the Philadelphia area.  During that storm, I was driving through Pennsauken on route 130 South in my new BMW, on my way to downtown Philadelphia.

At a dip in the road, there was some water accumulating.   Now, it was nothing I hadn’t driven through before.  Cars were passing cautiously through the water without any trouble.  So I decided to go through it.  Ten minutes later, sitting in my car which was now floating in over 3 feet of water, I was certainly regretting that decision.  What happened? And how does it relate to retirement planning?

As I drove through the water that day, I was hoping for the best and planning for the best.  All of my driving experience over the last 35+ years had led me to believe that I would be OK.

What had changed?

Well, three months earlier, I had purchased a new car.  This car had low profile tires, which meant I was much much lower to the ground.  Combine this with the fact that Pennsauken keeps their sewers closed on Route 130, which causes storm water to quickly collect in low areas, and the results were pretty predictable.

Retirement is like getting a new car you have never driven before and then driving over a road you have never been on.  You move forward, relying on all of your experiences over the last 20 or 30 years and often times using the same strategies that may or may not have served you well during your working years.

If I had only taken the time to talk to someone who had owned a car with low profile tires or investigated how the car drove in various conditions, maybe I would have avoided totaling my car.  If I had spoken to someone who had driven down Route 130 in a driving rain, maybe I would have known to be very cautious about a little bit of water on the road in Pennsauken

Retirement is just like driving a new car down a strange road.  As a retirement planning and investment specialist, I have been down the retirement road many times under many different conditions.  I use strategies and techniques that will help you avoid being caught in 3 feet of water, floating down the highway.

It took over two weeks to finally convince my insurance company that the car was totaled.  I am now in the process of replacing my new car with a new car.  The good news though is that no one was hurt, which is the most important thing.

If you want to talk about how to avoid floating down the road on the way to retirement, please give our office a call at 215-968-1755.