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How Backpacking in the White Mountains taught me about stress testing Retirement Plans
One summer my husband, Jim, and I decided to take an autumn backpacking trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We began training for the long, uphill treks and then gradually increased the weight of our backpacks. We were 100% prepared to hike the inclines with our packs. There was nothing more we could do to prepare.
But I was unprepared for what happened. When we arrived at the parking area it was raining. As our elevation increased the rain turned to freezing rain. The tinkling sound it made on the trees as it fell provided a little distraction from being cold and wet.
But when the terrain became slippery, I thought, “I did not sign up for this!” Now I was wet, cold and walking on slick ground.
As much as I don’t like to admit it, I began to cry. When you add boohooing to elevation you soon wind up hyperventilating.
Now, I am cold, wet, on slick terrain, crying and hyperventilating…for a trek that we were 100% prepared for. Our trip had not been stress tested.
When clients experience our retirement planning they have the opportunity to stress test ahead of time. What if:
inflation went up
taxes went up
my spouse passed
we moved to a different state
the market corrected?
Even if you have been a great saver and investor, your Retirement Trek needs to be stress tested. And the best time to do that is before you retire.