The one-legged retirement disaster…

1 Minute Tips

Date: 09/10/2018


I started a tradition a couple of years ago of taking each of my daughters on a father-daughter trip the year they turn 12.  This year it was Abby’s turn, and she chose Banff National Park as our destination.  This past August we packed up and had a great time camping, hiking and biking in the mountains.
When we set up camp, I was putting up a tarp over our eating area and had no level ground to use as a base.  I managed to get it done by balancing on a camping chair and leaning against a tree for support, much to Abby’s amusement.
While it might be funny when setting up camp, depending on faulty supports for retirement is a recipe for disaster.
The “three-legged stool” was used for years as a financial term to describe a stable retirement.
Do you know why a three-legged stool is so sturdy?
Here's a quick mathematical explanation: if you hold a cane in your hand, you can move it any way you want. It has no constraints and can move in all three dimensions.
If you put one end on the ground, you can move the cane around in a variety of ways, but only in two dimensions. The bottom of the cane is rooted to the ground.
If you connect the tops of two canes together and put their bottoms on the ground, they can only move along one straight arc back and forth. They have one single dimension of movement.
Finally, if you attach the third cane, the tops don't move at all – they move in zero dimensions. This is what happens with a three-legged stool.
The three legs of a stable retirement used to be government benefits (Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security), employee pensions, and savings.
Today, the one leg that you can totally rely on is YOU. Your personal savings.
Your one leg must support you through retirement to ensure that you live the kind of retirement you want… and you deserve.
Some are heading for a one-legged disaster because they are relying on the other two legs.
Have you tested your one leg lately?
Now is always the best time to test your one leg to be sure it is stable and secure!


Stuart Sutton, B.Comm., CFP
Certified Financial Planner


Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
                                                      - Ralph Waldo Emerson


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