Climbing The Mountain


Thanks to my 7 years old daughter, I’ve been exposed (repeatedly) to the music of Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana). Although my musical tastes are more in line with 1970’s & 1980’s Classic Rock, I have to admit that Miley’s music is pretty good.

One of her best songs, “The Climb” is popular right now, and it’s a very inspiring song. Hearing “The Climb” makes me think about how saving for retirement can be much like climbing a mountain. There may be obstacles along the way, but we keep climbing, and the climb is actually the best part of the process.

There are really 2 parts to climbing a mountain, going up and then coming back down. This makes a great analogy when thinking of your retirement savings. “Going up” is building your nest egg. “Coming down” is when you are beginning to take income from the nest egg you’ve built. Both parts are just as important, aren’t they?

If you are in the “Going Up” stage, and trying to build your nest egg, having a year like 2008 can be discouraging. What if you could get at least 7% or more every year on your savings? What if you were able to get even more in years when the market does better then 7%? (By the way, according to the Rule of 72, that would be an average compound return of 7.2%.)

How about if I also told you that if you stayed invested for 10 years, you would DOUBLE your original investment?

Lets say you have an account which grows by 10% at the beginning of the year, hits its peak in June, then tails off for the rest of the year. What if I told you that the highest Quarterly Gain (in this case the end of June) would be locked in for you, in helping to build your nest egg?

The next year, the same thing would happen. The benefit base would increase by either 7% OR whatever the highest quarterly gain was.

What about “Coming Down” the mountain and taking income? How about if I told you that beginning at age 63, you would be able to take 5% from the benefit base you built and you could take 5% for life? Wouldn’t it be great to know that your pay can go up, if the account continues to grow – and your pay won’t go down? And for those who can wait until age 75 to begin taking income, would you like to be able to take 6% FOR LIFE? Sounds pretty good so far? Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable climbing your mountain if you had a “safety net“? For more information, please contact me at You may also follow me on Twitter at

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