Believing Is Seeing: How to Avoid Retirement Myopia

Now more than ever, you need to sharpen your financial focus to see the big picture.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

During a visit to my optometrist’s office, I started thinking about all the lenses we look through in life. As I squinted into the vision-testing device during my exam, the doctor repeatedly asked which looked clearer: No. 1, click, No. 2, click, or how about No. 3? Through the machine, clarity was somewhat easy to recognize as we went through the tedious, but necessary, process of finding the right prescription for a severely nearsighted patient.

The exercise got me thinking: What if there were a machine that helped you visualize your retirement plan? I mean it is 2020, after all. Would the image for most investors be clear? How could it not be blurry right now when it’s nearly impossible to see the big picture beyond this coronavirus crisis?

Unfortunately, there’s no LASIK procedure for retirement planning, but we can correct our vision along the way. And while these times are particularly challenging, the lenses below can still be helpful guidelines for considering our progress. Disruption can cause a temporary and personal crisis of confidence, as most of us may be facing financial paralysis brought on by the current economic environment and its extreme market volatility. But even when priorities shift, you should never lose sight of retirement readiness.

Check out this list of the four different “retirement lenses” people should be looking through, based on their age, and what that means for their financial plan.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC (opens in new tab) or with FINRA (opens in new tab).

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Phil Wright is Vice President of Marketing Communications at Jackson National Life Distributors LLC (JNLD) and an award-winning financial writer. He started with the company in 1994 and focuses on the development and creation of marketing business content. He is a Registered Principal and Certified Fund Specialist (CFS®).