When it comes to retirement planning – Do you take shelter or risk it?

We have all been there. We work hard at something, a project around the house, a paper, making money, whatever it is and then something goes wrong and it’s all taken away. The sprinkler pipe cracks and has to be replaced, the computer crashes and the paper is lost, a lawsuit, taxes or regulations. Retirement planning and investments – same thing. No one wants to lose it when they worked so hard to earn it!

In the famous words of Brian Tracey, it’s hard to make money and very easy to lose it.

Protecting what you make is critical to your future success and ability to Plan for a Legacy that will make you proud.

A quick story. I was in Lake Arrowhead in winter as a kid. The ground was covered with about 6 inches of the best kind of snow. Crisp, light, but enough water to make the best snowballs. My brothers and I headed outside. In the front of the cabin stood a grand majestic tree with a trunk about 5 feet around. My brothers offered me a choice. I could take the big tree for the snowball fight and they would take the open space or I could have the open space and they would take the tree.

Silly brothers. What kind of a choice was that? I would take the big tree and would be protected. They would be in the open, unprotected. The snowball fight began. It was a rout. I would pack snowballs by the tree. They were in the open. Bam as I tossed snowballs hitting my mark. Whooosh Splat, the snowballs would hit the tree. I wasn’t touched. Snowball after snowball. We were laughing and giggling.

Suddenly, I was faced with a dilemma. As I began to use up all the snow around the tree, I found that I had to venture further and further out from the tree to collect more snow and as that happened I became the sitting duck. The second I would go to get snow, a wave of snowballs would come at me. If I could go fast enough I could get snow and then retreat to the safety of the Tree. Two against one. Eventually, game over. I guess protecting supply lines in military strategy wasn’t my strong suit at 14 years of age.

Now I know some of you might be thinking this story might seem a bit counter-intuitive. Being in the open afforded more opportunity and flexibility. In the beginning, this was not true. My brothers had no chance. The home base was strong and sturdy. If we build our business strong and sturdy it will be difficult for others to penetrate the fortress. As long as resources are good, i.e. customers, sales etc. leaving the fortress is not necessary. If resources weaken, then yes, more chances need to be taken, but those risks can be measured and preparations made each step of the way to make sure that the risks are reduced.

Tax shelters, asset protection, liability protection, the business world has a vast supply of resources to keep what we work so hard earn.

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