The Blatt Watch by Peter Blatt: Cooking and retirement planning – it’s all about the end goal

From the desk of Peter Blatt

February 12, 2013

It is no secret that one of my passions is cooking. I have a lovely wife of 23 years and two boys (age 11 and 9) who all enjoy my cooking. It started when my wife, Gina, began working as my office manager a few years ago. She needed to take a week long course outside of the office for her job duties, to which I said, being the supportive spouse we all need and depend on, no problem. “I will cook.”

I started with the most ambitious intentions, but exhausted the list of recipes I knew by heart…on the fourth night. I needed some new ideas, so I looked around my house for cookbooks. None were minted within the last decade, so I didn’t think any of the recipes were relevant for my family. We are trying to eat healthier and smaltz just didn’t make the cut. So I did the next best thing – I went onto the internet.

Now if you Google chicken piccatayou’ll find over 771,000 recipes. Just below the search query box, the company might as well post in enormous, blinding font the phrase “GOOD LUCK!

My last ditch effort was to call my mom for some advice, which she graciously and enthusiastically gave, though again, most of it didn’t exactly fit our lifestyle.

OKAY, to stop boring you with my recipe procurement details, I will skip to the point: it was a hard process to find recipes that are relevant to my family’s needs, so it took several months of dedication and focus to cook for them. I needed a plan. I began to develop tricks to keep it interesting, like changing up tastes and cultural foods weekly (Chinese, Mexican, Italian, etc). After some time, I started to get the hang of it, and a year and a half later, I now love cooking!

Chicken Piccatta by Chef PeterAnd here’s the real point: planning for retirement in 2013 is a lot like cooking for your family’s needs.

Planning for retirement is still a process. There will be times when you will feel like you are not getting anywhere and outside circumstances are preventing what you perceive as success. You will have “nay-sayers” – your younger son does not like Chinese for example, or your risk tolerance is lower than you thought. It’s difficult to sort through these preferences and make the right choice for the bigger picture, and it’s even more difficult to go about it alone.

There’s an abundance of false information out there on retirement planning for 2013. And there will always be a feeling of uncertainty when you do make some decisions. But the key is sticking to a plan, a process, and a formula – just like you do with your recipes.

The same holds true when you have a question about investments, entitlements, or saving money for retirement in general – seek out and then spend time understanding whatever recommendation you receive. You wouldn’t blindly add an ingredient to a recipe you’ve been making for years that doesn’t seem to fit, would you? So why blindly add investment advice to your retirement plans that you heard on a syndicated radio or television show, or that you read in a newspaper?

I got on this subject because this week we’re hosting a series of workshop dinners for client prospects called “Retirement Planning for 2013”. We’re talking about some of the finer points of what’s changing out there in the world that we think seniors who are in or near retirement need to understand and plan for.

My best suggestion (for investing and for cooking): understand the end goal, what challenges stand between you and it, and then create a plan to overcome those challenges.

I’m always available for a free consultation if you haven’t had one in a while. We can talk about what your end goal is in your retirement plans and how best to get there, or we can share delicious family recipes. It’s your call, and it’s one you should be making right now. My direct like is (561) 625-0900 ext 1.

Until next time,

Peter Blatt

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Peter Blatt

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