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What Does a Loose Tooth Have to Do With Retirement?


By Krista McBeath, McBeath Financial Group

Sometimes in life, there are nagging situations that are painful to resolve. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. My daughter is learning this concept at the tender age of five years old — and we feel the pain as much as she does. She has a loose tooth that needs to come out, and we all know it. Yet, nobody wants to pull that tooth out, even though it is a very pressing issue that gets worse daily! Before I explain that, I should give you a little history.

This isn’t her first tooth that’s been ready to come out. She lost her first tooth just a few weeks ago, even though we thought it was way too early. Boy, were we surprised to see a gaping hole in her smile when she was picked up from preschool that day. That first tooth had come out easily while she was wiggling it during the day. She was happily ready for her first visit from the tooth fairy!

So, my husband and I were feeling some regrets that we missed a magical first moment. But now, facing our current dilemma, we realize how lucky it was that the tooth came out so easily. See, this time, it doesn’t feel like a “magical moment” at all! It’s the tooth that just doesn’t want to come out. It’s going to be painful and bloody, with some screaming and crying.

It’s got to be done now because the permanent tooth is popping up behind her baby tooth, and it’s beginning to come in crooked. I don’t have to explain the aesthetics, or the expense of braces. There is potentially a lot of cost and pain down the road if we don’t just get it over with and pull the tooth out. In life’s bigger picture, pulling out a baby tooth is not a big deal, but it’s not something we want to do either.

This loose tooth experience has helped me to understand why many people put off having a financial plan for retirement. It’s easier to ignore the situation instead of meeting with a retirement planner. Maybe people just don’t want to think about it, or perhaps they are afraid of the process. Maybe they are too busy. There’s certainly plenty of excuses for not planning for retirement.

However, day by day, the anxiety builds because you know the day is coming. Every week, month, or year that it’s put off will eventually lead to more pain. What pain comes from not having a solid retirement plan?

First, without knowing your financial future, there’s stress that can prevent you from enjoying this transition and some of the best years of your life. Is it concerning not knowing exactly where your retirement income is coming from, how you will cover your medical expenses, and if your retirement funds will last long enough?

Second, as your countdown to retirement begins, you are facing a financial transition period where you are moving from the wealth accumulation phase to the distribution phase. It is more critical than ever to have your retirement funds allocated to the correct risk tolerance. A misstep, a market correction, a health issue, or other unforeseen events could risk everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

Third, without a solid plan for fund distribution, the retirement accounts may end up unbalanced. Such an unbalance might cause issues with risk, liquidity, and necessary growth. What this means is that you might risk outliving your funds, or you might be living below your means when you could be enjoying this phase with your family.

Fourth, without the assistance of a financial planner’s analysis and expertise, there is the strong possibility of unnecessary erosion of your assets from investment fees and taxation on the portfolio.

Finally, you could be jeopardizing your family’s welfare. Part of a good retirement plan takes into consideration the financial needs of a surviving spouse. Also, legacy planning is important in maximizing the income distribution and reducing the tax burden on heirs.

All of these potential problems and more can easily be addressed by a professional financial planner. The first step is just making a phone call to set up a complimentary appointment. Some of the best relief comes out of that first appointment where you can lay it all out and discuss your concerns, challenges, and what you’d like your future to look like. You’ll wonder why you ever waited so long.

Now, taking my own advice, I’ll send my husband out to the garage for a pair of tooth-pulling pliers. While he’s rummaging in a toolbox, I’ll have that tooth out in no time with dental floss knotted around it and a firm yank. I’m already picturing her cute, toothless smile when daddy walks in from the garage!

Krista McBeath is a chartered financial consultant, a licensed insurance advisor, a fiduciary, and an experienced tax advisor who specializes in financial planning, investments, taxes, and insurance. McBeath Financial Group’s Technology Empowered Advisor Method (TEAM) is a financial planning process that integrates the personal touch of a relationship-based advisor with high-tech software tools to assess a client’s current portfolio and then analyze options from a variety of financial vehicles. Phone 309-808-2224 or email for appointment information.

Advisory services are offered through McBeath Financial Group and Motiv8 Investments, LLC. McBeath Financial Group and Motiv8 Investments, LLC are not affiliated. Insurance products and services are offered through McBeath Tax and Financial Services, LLC. McBeath Financial Group and McBeath Tax and Financial Services, LLC. are affiliated.