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Retirement planning lessons from the World Cup

by Wanjiku Mbugua

The FIFA World Cup 2018 can easily pass as the greatest of all editions. From the performances on the pitch, the surprises, hits and misses, Russia gave the world an experience to remember. Retirement planning, like football, if not well coordinated can be disappointing when goals set are not met. I thought I should share some correlated tips about the two subjects.

Ball possession does not guarantee a win

If there is any result that has hammered home the underlying theme from this World Cup, is the defeat of Spain. Crowned the 2010 World Cup champions, the team lost to Russia in a penalty shootout despite having had 79 per cent of ball possession and was eliminated. Same case applied to other great teams as Germany and Argentina.

Often, annual salary increments or hefty bonuses sway us to believe we are rich and in most cases we hardly make valuable investment plans for the new money. This is like ball possession, whereby if not well managed can result to wasted opportunities. Thus, it takes consistency, unwavering discipline with clear strategic focus to keep scoring in your investment goals.

What is your game plan?

Your strategy is key in terms of asset allocation and diversification with clear alignment to the risk profile. Asset allocation is the process of choosing investment options that match your personal risk profile and investment goals.

In the match between Russia and Spain, the hosts new they were the underdogs (risk profile), and therefore decided to frustrate the Spaniards during normal match time and aim to push the game into penalties (their goal).

Take some half time

Periodic halftime moments to review how your retirement goals are aligned to your strategic tactical portfolio asset allocation positively contributes to staying focused on the goal and informs if there is need for new approach.

Review can be done with help of a consultant, while you consider inclusion of your family. Remember every half time in football has the input of the coach through moral boosting, guiding on change of strategy based on the first half results.

Each team has a coach

Generally selecting players to form a team does not guarantee winning no matter the talent. That is where football managers and coaches come in.

Who is your financial coach? Having your financial assets in the field of investments is not guarantee for success. You need professional support for tactical asset allocation that brings about investment value.

Blame game is the sure way to lose

Julen Lopetegui, the Spanish national team coach was fired two days before the World Cup started. Luis Rubiales, the Spanish Football Federation president who fired him, will be circled as the key offender. “What started badly, ended badly,” wrote Marca. “All the problems began with the dismissal of Lopetegui and then continued with a team lacking in form and ideas.”

And like in football, the blame game shall continue for most employees that do not have a retirement plan. They will blame the employer for inadequate pay, government for poor policies, stock market for poor performance etc. It is important to note that retirement planning is a personal responsibility.

Remember every game must end at some point

The regulated time for a football match is 90 minutes. For the win, each team must work hard to get their goals before time runs out. Similarly, at some age one has to retire and accept the results of his effort in the field. The question is, ‘what results will you celebrate?’

Substitutes are allowed

Occasionally, the coach replaces tired players a tactic aimed at improving the team’s result. Review of your asset allocation with a sale and buy with the strategic alignment to your goals based on risk appetite and age profile alignment is a great way to build momentum for successful investment.

Celebrate your win moments

Every team that scores a goal spares a moment for an immediate celebration. Celebrating small wins gives you momentum to achieve greater goals. You don’t have to wait until age 60 to go on holiday, you may not have the taste buds to appreciate the flavor then.

Focus on the future and not your past

We all have our past failures but they don’t define our future. Your future has more value than your past. It is thus never too late to devise a new financial plan that safeguards your retirement period.

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