The Retirement Race - It’s a Marathon, Not A Sprint

Part 1 - Run Your Own Race



I always make room for two things in my carry-on luggage - a pair of heels and a pair of running shoes. My husband and I are big runners and like to log miles any and everywhere we go.


To date, I’ve run 35 races ranging from 5K to full 26.2-mile marathon. Step by step, I’ve learned that training for a race is a lot like getting ready for retirement in that it’s a long game requiring discipline, structure, persistence and, often, patience.


When it comes to the retirement race, the reality is that you’re running a marathon, not a sprint. In this series, I’ll share some core truths I’ve learned about planning for a successful retirement from my many, many miles.


We’ll warm up with one of my personal favorites, run your own race.


I’d hedge a bet every runner has been here... It’s race day and you’ve just made it to your start group. You’re checking your bib and making sure the playlist is on point when a runner walks into the corral - at first blush, you see a mirror image of yourself as an athlete. You’re both around the same age, build and (you believe…) you are aiming for a similar pace time.


Everyone lines up, the gun fires and BOOM you’re off! You feel strong as your pre-race jitters subside - you glance over and you’re well in stride with you’re running doppelganger. You even start to entertain the thought that you’re going to beat her.


Then a few miles in she starts to pull away. Checking your watch, you’re still on pace but your running twin seems to be gazelling ahead of you. All of a sudden you feel winded, frustrated and slow.


Why can’t you keep up? Why is she so much faster than you? Are you a quitter?


What you don’t know is that you picked some stiff competition out of the line-up. This chick has an ultra-marathon under her belt and regularly logs 90 miles a week. Fueled by a plant-based diet, she hasn’t even looked at ice cream in five years and would banish the thought of having a drop of wine pass her lips. (which is a ‘no thanks’ for me…)


Most importantly, she has a plan for this run and is sticking to it like white on rice. She is running her own race and, no offense, not giving you a second thought.


As much as your heart may want it, keeping up with her isn’t an option for you in this moment; nor is trying a good (or safe) strategy.


When it comes to finance, we often have conversations with clients who feel like they’re trying to chase someone else instead of running their own race. Not only does this approach obliterate their self-esteem and confidence, but it may also cloud judgement and cause them to hurt their nest egg in the long run.


The fact is, when it comes to financial planning, what you don’t know can hurt you. If you get caught up in comparing yourself to or trying to keep up with someone else’s financial success (or your perception of their success…), you could be missing something or chasing smoke (hello, debt!).


Much like running, finances are often best tackled as a race ran alone. Put your headphones in, find that beat and stay focused on running your race.


You’ve got this and I believe in you. If you want to learn more about how to run your own race when it comes to finances and retirement planning, let’s connect.


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