6 Ways Retirement is Like Coaching Football

Written By : Greg

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When your clients meet with you for retirement planning services, you might often find that they view the entire process as a race. Clients want to save this much money by this particular date, and if they succeed then they can retire happily. If they suffer setbacks, it can delay their overall process and they might feel as those they have lost.

FootballA race implies a linear movement with only one goal: to get to the finish line first. Who exactly are your clients trying to beat? Themselves? Each other? Viewing retirement planning this way can understandably lead to a lot of frustration for your clients.

What if we presented retirement strategies as a game, rather than a race? A game implies strategy, honing of skills, patience, and at times a changing time-line. As we sometimes see in sports, particularly football, nearly as much emphasis is placed on teamwork and improvement as it is on winning the game!

Since we’re now in the midst of football season, your clients may be focusing on their favorite teams. At this time of year, you might find the following analogies helpful when presenting your services to your clients.

Choose the right quarterback. When selecting players for their teams, most head coaches place a lot of emphasis on choosing the right quarterback. They want a guy with a great record, who consistently makes the right calls and follows through successfully. Think of your fund manager as your quarterback. Have you chosen someone with a solid, dependable, and proven record?

Protect your quarterback. In football, the quarterback is the head of the team. Most of the responsibility falls on him to make the big plays and keep the team advancing forward. But if the offensive line is weak, he’s going to get sacked and lose yardage. Think of your long-term retirement strategy as your offensive line. If your line is strong and your quarterback is secure, you give yourself time and space to throw the right passes without pressure or major setbacks.

Pick a great kicker. We’ve all seen closely matched teams battle it out on the field, only to have a single field goal or even an extra point decide the outcome of the game. A kicker might only play for a few seconds at a time, but he’s an invaluable member of the team! In retirement planning, your highest-risk asset class is like your kicker. It might not make up the bulk of your “team”, but it can win the game when your other asset classes are struggling.

Run the ball. We all love seeing a quarterback launch a long-shot Hail Mary pass into the end zone. But when your life savings are at stake, that type of risky approach is likely to be more terrifying than it is exciting! For the most part, you should focus on your running game – the slow but steady, proven approach that helps you to gradually gain ground without huge risks.

Don’t get cocky about a big lead. How many times have you been watching your favorite football team, excited to see them dominating the other team, and then found yourself disappointed at the end of the game? Sometimes coaches get cocky about a big lead on the score board, sub in their second and third string players… and then lose the game. Just because you’ve grown a sizable nest egg doesn’t mean you can slack off. Keep your best players in the game so that you aren’t disappointed at the end.

Remember that retirement planning isn’t a game. These analogies are fun, and can help us gain a better understanding of our overall financial strategies. But at the end of the day, remember that financial planning is infinitely more important to our lives than a football game. If you find yourself reaching the final minutes of the fourth quarter, don’t risk it all by throwing that Hail Mary pass. It’s better to go into overtime – continuing to work and save – than to lose everything just as you were ready to retire.

Filed under: Financial Advisor Marketing

Written By :

Greg Preite is a digital marketing and Social Media consultant for CreativeOne. He is the lead content writer and contributor to Advisor Online Marketing and was recently named by LifeHealthPro.com as one of the 20 Most Creative People in Insurance.

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