Some Americans are naturally good at financial planning. There are certainly millions of young people who leave high school or graduate college with an established, innovative plan to secure their financial futures well into adulthood and retirement. But for most people, the long-term prospects of retirement and personal wealth seem more like a lofty dream than a concrete reality. While some folks are able to slowly hobble together a retirement model later into their careers, most retirement planning experts agree that the best path to financial stability is to begin as early in life as possible.
Still, even people who have a vested interest in and understand the importance of smart retirement planning might struggle to take concrete action to make their dreams a reality. Oftentimes, the easiest way for men and women to begin to take control of their finances is to follow clear, simple pieces of advice. Gone are the days where truisms like “hard work pays off” are sufficient for people who hope to become financially independent as they age into their golden years of retirement. In the complex financial sector of 2020, the smart retirement plans are specific, targeted, and nuanced.
In his book, “Everyone Ends Up Poor,” SunCor Financial President Curtis Ray grapples with this exact question. After years of planning and research, Ray was confronted with the difficult reality that led to the title of the book. In his approximation, the traditional models used by people to establish a nest egg for retirement are entirely flawed. In fact, these models often leave people far poorer than they should be in their later years.
With such a direct, observable criticism of the existing model for the ideal retirement plan, Ray’s book puts forward a specific list of methods that workers can use to establish a sizable nest egg for themselves. As this financial expert explains, the key to financial growth is stability in the long-term. Using the power of compound interest, strategic real estate and life insurance investments, and more, men and women can establish retirement plans that easily outpace the traditional models that currently dominate the retirement planning sector.
One particularly important point emphasized in Ray’s book is the importance of avoiding substantial risk when planning for retirement and long-term financial gains. Speaking on one podcast, Ray explained that people are hardwired to look for big wins. We all want to hit it big! But in reality, avoiding a financial loss is often far better in the long run than betting big. Ray isn’t alone in this opinion, either. Billionaire and financial mogul Warren Buffet said that the number one rule of money is to “never lose money.” The second rule of money? “Never forget rule number one.”
This is, if Ray is to be believed, where most traditional retirement plans fail. Many plans rely heavily on the shaky stock market and riskier modes of investment earlier in the plan, before becoming more conservative as the plan-holder ages. By following a plan that minimizes risk and maximizes potential gains consistently, Ray argues that people can experience a consistent upward climb in the finances.
At its core, Ray’s criticism of the current state of the retirement planning industry is that the models being produced fail to account for the realities facing many Americans. His book offers concrete advice that might just help consumers avoid falling victim to the classic truth of contemporary American finances: that everyone ends up poor.