Weekend Reading: How to Handle Unexpected Financial Shocks

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

I developed our Retire With Purpose planning framework with the end-goal of helping clients be able to let go of “what’s next”, so that they can focus on where they can make the biggest impact today. The reality is, unexpected events will happen; however, preparing for them as much as possible ahead of time is where true financial confidence lies.


Ranking your risks: As mentioned here, one way to make unexpected shocks less detrimental to your financial wellbeing is by identifying the potential risks that could impact your lifelong savings. These would include your “known knowns” (such as aging), “known unknowns” (such as a potential health issue) and “unknown unknowns” (such as a global pandemic).

After that, all instances can be categorized into what’s known as your “risk profile” (shown in the article), and separated based on a low to high likelihood, as well as a low to high associated cost. Categorizing these potential risk exposures not only provides clarity from a financial perspective, but will also require you to gain a full understanding of all your financial resources and most importantly - craft a contingency plan to navigate any financial crises along the way.

Bottom line: If you are experiencing stress in any aspect of life, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. If you don’t take action, it will typically manifest itself in other damaging ways.