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Is Your Retirement Planning Behavior More like an Ostrich or Dolphin?
With the ability to max out at 43mph and sustain 31mph the ostrich is the fastest living being on 2 legs - sorry Usain Bolt - and is rumored to stick its head in the sand when hiding from predators. According to Wikipedia, that’s a myth that probably started when ostriches were observed lying flat on the ground to hide from enemies. The only problem was that they would sometimes lay their heads between two bushes, likely thinking their bodies were hidden. More than a few probably became tasty meals for predators. The point here is that they deal with problems by trying to hide from them, ignoring them and hoping they just go away. The Holy Bible even has something to say about the big birds. It says in Lamentations: 4:3 " cruel like ostriches in the wilderness [that desert their young]. Talk about ignoring a problem.
Then there is the dolphin, one of the smartest animals on planet earth. It has shown the capacity to think to solve problems and challenges. The fact that they’re adorably cute doesn't hurt either.
On our tenth wedding anniversary, my wife and I celebrated by heading to Destin, FL for some fun in the Sun on the Gulf of Mexico. We rented two WaveRunners and headed out of the harbor into the deep. Minutes later, we saw what appeared to be shark fins ahead. Much to our relief it was dolphins, maybe seven or eight swimming together. When we turned off the engines they came so close we could have easily touched them. Bobbing on the waves, watching them interact, we were amazed by their intelligence and social behavior. They were not afraid of us, in fact, instead of avoiding us, they moved in our direction. Dolphins do not hide from the problems and challenges they face. They think about it and figure a way to take care of the issue. In this case, a friendly inspection out of curiosity.
So now that you know a bit more about each animal how do you compare.
Like so many, do you hide your head between the bushes and hope things will get better? Or like the dolphin do you accept the challenge and press toward a solution?
Did you know:
that one of the biggest risks to your successful retirement is failure to plan for long term care expenses?
when one person needs care the average family goes through all their savings within 12 months?
Unfortunately when it comes to this area of retirement planning, far too many people act like ostriches.
The answer may surprise you. Ok, I'm going out on a limb here and assuming that you think you are most like a dolphin, right? To be absolutely fair, you probably need to know a little more about both animals.