What We Can Learn from Irma


by David D. Holland



There are a lot of “positives” about living in Florida: sunshine, mild winters, beach breezes, friendly neighbors who take the time to wave hello, parks and attractions, boating, fishing, wildlife, water sports – the list goes on and on. What ranks at the top of the “negatives” list? HURRICANES. We’ve had our share in the last year.


Holland FinancialThankfully, Irma is now long gone. We all knew she was coming. We didn’t know exactly where she’d hit, but we had weather forecasters pointing to “spaghetti” lines showing various paths. Would we suffer the wrath of the storm? No one really knew. So, what did we all do? A lot of us prepared for the worst. People took Irma seriously. Stores ran out of water, and gas stations were drained of fuel, days before the event. People boarded up their windows, filled sandbags and stocked up on batteries and non-perishable food. By the time the first winds started to kick up, many of us felt that we had done all we could do and we were “ready.”


You know, I love a good analogy, so here it goes:


Is your retirement coming? You might not be sure of the exact date, but it’s on the radar, right? Will everything be fine, or is there the possibility of hurricane-force winds and flooding? We just don’t know – that’s why it is so important to prepare now!


I’m certainly not implying that retirement holds gloom and doom, but unexpected events, like hospital stays, long-term care needs, or the death of a spouse, could certainly impact your life (and finances) significantly. Wouldn’t it be better to have planned for those scenarios, rather than leave everything up to chance? (You bought bottled water, right?)


At the very least, I encourage you to meet with a financial adviser (do your research and choose carefully). Oftentimes, these initial consultations are free of charge. Get an idea of where you stand and what services and products are available to help you prepare for uncertain events that can take place in retirement. If you do, I think you’ll feel more assured that you are “ready” for the financial storms that may come your way.


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