I started the Retirement Field Guide in March 2018. At the time, the only real purpose of the site was to share my views with people in my personal circles. And in all honesty, I started the site with the goal of gaining new clients. While a number of new clients have found me through this site, I have found myself thinking less about just my personal advisory business and started thinking more about the larger mission at hand.
As time has progressed, I am more energized than ever for making a difference in the lives of retirees. As such, I spent the last few weeks thinking about what I really want to accomplish professionally in this life and what I hope we can achieve together.
What I ended up with was a personal mission - both for me personally and for the Retirement Field Guide brand. That is:
Retirement Field Guide Mission Statement:
“To help 10 million people make better retirement decisions.”
That may sound a bit grandiose, but stay with me. Somewhere along the way, I was told that when thinking about mission statements to take what you think you can achieve and multiply it by 10x until it sounds bigger than what you can imagine. As such, I could easily see this site being read by 1 million people. But 10 million, that sounds like a stretch.
Personally, I don’t believe that I write just any blog. I feel like the things that I write are against the tide of most of my industry and at times, what I write is against what most retirees view as conventional wisdom.
It would be much easier for me (and I would probably gain a larger following) if I would just throw the ball right down the middle instead of challenging conventional wisdom.
But that is not my nature. I have always felt comfortable being on the side of the minority. I have always felt comfortable having an unpopular opinion.
Finding reliable information on retirement is difficult, to say the least. There is either advertising revenue to attract, products to sell, or just acceptance of ideas in general. I don’t have to worry about any of that, which makes this site unique. Because of that, I can focus on things that I truly believe can help people make better retirement decisions.
I believe that no products are inherently bad products, there are just products that are sold to the wrong people. Leading with a product is always the wrong strategy anyway. I believe people should make financial decisions based on frameworks rather than a good sales pitch or outdated conventional wisdom.
I believe the primary battle retirees should be fighting is not the avoidance of short-term volatility but to protect their purchasing power over the long-run. As the Fed continues to print money, this may become more important than ever.
I believe that establishing a long-term retirement income plan is much more important than the specific investments that are chosen. But maintaining faith in the markets and a disciplined investment approach are difficult to do alone. I am not saying everyone needs an advisor so much as everyone needs encouragement and a positive voice.
With that in mind, I am in the process of entirely rebuilding my site, and when it’s complete, the subtitle of my blog page will be “Vitamin C for Market Weary Souls.”
Not only do I believe that optimism is the only realism because it’s the only story that squares with the historical record, but I believe optimism is the only antidote to the apocalypse du jour that runs on a continuous loop on TV.
I am not afraid to shout from the rooftops that everything is going to be okay. I am comfortable being one of a willing few who will say what needs to be said instead of what you may want to hear.
People who continuously read “self-help books” - my hand is raised - read them not because they say anything too different from one another, but because we need those constant reminders. At the core of my being, I believe retirees need to hear this message of hope, optimism, and faith over and over again if there is any chance of making through the retirement gauntlet.
This is a major part of the future of the Retirement Field Guide - sharing that hope, optimism and faith.
I believe what will separate successful retirees from those who won’t make it will come down to two primary things.
- Making each retirement decision based on a solid decision-making framework, not a sales pitch or relying on outdated conventional wisdom.
- Acting on faith, not fear.
If sharing my thoughts here encourages someone to stay the course, or just to wait it out a little bit longer, or to better position their portfolio for the future - whether I have any firsthand knowledge of it or not - I believe that is a goal worth striving for.
What You Can Expect Moving Forward
In order to reach 10 million people, I will need to change my tactics a bit. While I am a writer at heart, I realize not everyone is a reader. So, over the coming months, I am going to explore some additional mediums. I may start including video and webinars, or may even start a podcast. I will be releasing book #2 this fall on Creating a Retirement Paycheck. I will try to meet you where you are.
At the center of everything will be the Retirement Field Guide.
Lastly, when I say I want to help 10 million people make better retirement decisions, it is an abundantly difficult goal to track progress. So, I view this mission as much as a North Star as anything else. It is a state of mind.
I just wanted to give you a glimpse into my personal mission as I am as excited as ever to help as many people as we can. If you would like to help push the mission forward, I hope you will consider sharing the Retirement Field Guide with people you care about. In any case, thank you for being a reader of my work. It means the world to me!
To Your Success,