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Should You Plan Your Own Retirement? – Something To Consider

I’m going to be brutally honest.  From an early age, I have always resisted help from others. Over my years, I’ve tried to be more self-aware and now have a better gauge of when it’s simply my own stubbornness and pride, or whether I really am better off doing something on my own.

To be honest, many times it’s a coin flip. I can think of many DIY home projects that seemed well within my abilities.  These projects usually start out with energetic excitement and a vision of what the end product will look like. Then, somewhere in the middle, I find myself mired in extreme frustration with a huge mess to clean up and a hole in my bathroom ceiling (true story).

In my 20 years as a Financial Advisor, I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon when people do their own financial planning.  I actually believe it’s very similar to flying an airplane.

Though I am not a pilot, I’ve read about flying and have clients and friends who are pilots.  Based on what I’m told, the act of flying a plane is not that difficult.   I’m willing to bet with some basic instructions and understanding I could probably get a plane off the ground. (There I go again with my hardheaded stubbornness).

Once in the air, I’m told flying a plane is pretty easy as long as you keep your heading. This is exactly what many entrepreneurs, business owners, and successful career people do with their finances and wealth.  Early on, they were able to get off the ground on their own (start saving, investing, growing a business, etc.).

Midway through, they were able to maintain a heading for most of their working careers.  They had discipline and good decision making, kept investing into their business, took advantage of retirement plans and investments accounts, and have grown their wealth into a nice nest egg.

Now comes decision time, and a stubborn or prideful decision can lead to disaster.


Without a doubt, the most challenging and dangerous part of flying is landing the plane.  The problem with landing is you’ve only got one shot at a safe landing.  Maybe a rookie pilot can land safely in perfect weather conditions, but if you face strong crosswinds, only the experienced ones can avoid disaster. The issue is that weather can be erratic and incredibly hazardous.  You also need to factor in several other uncertainties that can seemingly manifest out of thin air. Risk increases exponentially as you approach the runway and, eventually, you reach the point of no return and you physically can’t pull up to circle around and try another attempt.

So, I ask you to think on this…

During the final and most treacherous part of your flight, wouldn’t it be comforting to know there’s a co-pilot able to take the controls in the first instance of trouble?  I know for me, having someone who has landed a lot of planes and dealt with all types of experiences would be incredibly valuable.

So, as you approach your own runway:

  • Retirement
  • Selling your business
  • Transferring your wealth to the next generation

Don’t let your own stubbornness or pride risk the financial lives of those who depend on you.

Obviously, I feel our firm Counterweight Private Wealth, does an exceptional job here.  But this post is not about driving business to our firm.  Instead, I hope it challenges and provokes you to think through your own plans.

If so, I encourage you to reach out to us or someone you trust for a conversation.

Counterweight Private Wealth is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with its principal offices in Raleigh, NC and Wilmington, NC. Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission. Counterweight Private Wealth only transacts business in states in which it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration. A copy of Counterweight Private Wealth’s current written disclosure brochure filed with the SEC which discusses among other things, its business practices, services, and fees, is available through the SEC’s website at:

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