Two Reasons I Listen to My Travel Agent
(and How That Relates to Getting Sound Financial Advice)
I thought it was just a head cold, but then a fever, chills and throbbing headache set in. On the night before my family’s Sedona vacation, it became quite obvious that I was in no condition to fly. When I called my travel agent to ask about re-scheduling options, she reminded me that I had (reluctantly) purchased travel insurance. I asked her to explain that benefit again, and she told me that not only could I get reimbursed for the cost of a new flight, but the benefit would also apply to the four family members traveling with me. What a break!
Less than a year later, the five of us were on a full plane waiting on the tarmac while some last minute paperwork was being completed by the pilots. (Really? Technology that can fly you around the world and “paperwork” has to be filled out before a departure?) Anyhow, eventually the plane started to push back and then it stopped abruptly. This time it was very bad news: hydraulic fluid was leaking from the nose of the plane! Two hours later, the flight was canceled, and, because it was the week after Christmas, we could not rebook. A rental villa and a week of painstakingly scheduled activities had to be canceled. Ugh! Time for another call to the travel agent for advice. Good news! Again, the travel insurance was in place (only because the agent twisted my arm)! We made other vacation arrangements and the financial loss caused by the canceled flight will soon be reimbursed.
My Point: I share these two stories to draw an obvious analogy. I’m good at financial planning because I’ve submerged myself in it for the last twenty years. I don’t know much about travel planning, and only purchased the travel insurance because my persistent agent insisted. I hadn’t anticipated that these two travel anomalies would occur or how they could cause significant financial loss – but my travel adviser did (I hate when she’s right!). The same can be true with your finances. You may experience a whole host of costly setbacks on your journey to retirement. When it comes to the stock market, the sky’s not always blue. Things can, and do, break along the way! You don’t have to figure out your investments or how to make an on-time retirement-departure on your own. An experienced and knowledgeable financial planner can: give prudent advice, help you make your connections, anticipate any possible delays, and implement altered plans when necessary.