Our country is working hard to recover from the fallout of shutting down the economy this spring. Businesses are opening up, unemployment is dropping, consumers are spending, and the stock market has moved way off its March lows. More people are making travel plans, airlines are adding flights, aircraft are being moved out of storage, and management teams are planning for the future. It has been a long time since I have seen so many people working hard to achieve “normal.”
My guess is that this year has had a big impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones. You may finally be taking a deep breath and considering how to get closer to your daily “normal.” But how hard are you working toward your personal financial recovery, toward getting back to your financial normal? Have you taken a moment to assess these things?
- Have your retirement plans been impacted?
- What are the unknowns that you should be aware of?
- Are there any actions that you need to take?
- Did your retirement investments perform “as you expected” during the drop to bear market territory?
- Did your specific funds do as well as other fund options?
- Did you have a written contingency plan to deal with sharp market drops? If not, why not? If so, how did it do?
- What part did emotion play in your investment decision making? Did you sell stocks during the downturn or did you buy more?
Anytime we transition through a crisis, it presents a perfect time to assess performance. This should be natural to you. Every time you finish a simulator session, you debrief what went well and what could use improvement. The goal is to be a better pilot, to enhance your skills, to provide safe, efficient transportation to your passengers. Now is that time to debrief your performance as your financial manager. As you go through this exercise, think not only about how things went this spring but how things might go when you experience similar crises during retirement. The impact of mistakes while working may not be substantial. But the impact of mistakes while you are responsible for generating your own paycheck for multiple decades can be significant. You will want to rehearse your emergency procedures well before you receive your last paycheck.
At Wings Wealth Management, we are debriefing our own performance on how we have been helping pilots thorough this crisis. Even though we have been assisting pilots for years, we believe we have discovered new ways that will help us better serve our pilot community. Continuously striving for improvement is not a sign of weakness, but rather shows a commitment to excellence.
Many of you are committed to being your own financial manager. We respect that. If you would like a complimentary second opinion on your process, we will be happy to provide that. If you are open to asking for help to improve your process and help your family feel more confident about retirement, we welcome the opportunity to see if we are a good fit.
Regardless, please take a deep breath and debrief. It may very well be the one exercise that makes a difference in your financial future.