The Value of Risk Taking
Risk-taking is the willingness to make mistakes, support unconventional or unpopular positions, or we are considering the risk. They are the gifts that will never occur if we are not willing to step out of our
tackle extremely challenging problems without obvious comfort zone and take a risk.
solutions and to do this in a way that improves one’s
What happens if your carefully-constructed plan
personal growth, integrity or accomplishments.
somehow goes wrong or gets off track? How do you
All of your life, you have been balancing risks know if you can survive taking a huge risk, like having
with consequences. Planning for retirement certainly a baby or moving to a far-off country? There are four
involves risks… but, as is the case with all choices, the ways to think ahead of time about preventing or dealing
risk involved can be calculated. The more information with the possibility of future problems.
you have at your disposal, the better. This information
a) Strive high, but let go of those fantasies of
should include scenarios to establish a good plan, as well perfection.
as getting input from those retirees you admire.
b) Develop a realistic time frame that recognizes
Don’t put off setting goals and making plans. Instead, many steps will have to be taken before you can see that
think positively and plan accordingly.
the risk was a success.
c) Be scrupulously honest with
Stumbling into retirement and trying
to fix it on an ‘as you go’ basis is not yourself. If your plan is running into “The dangers of life are
a formula for success.
infinite, and among
brick walls, take a breather. Reevaluate
Remember way back when you
them is safety.”
the plan to see if it is still the right
and your spouse agonized over having
way to go.
a baby? You probably worried about
d) Don’t just sit and worry. Tell
how expensive it would be, that you would have to build a your family your concerns. A problem is easier to deal
bigger home to make room for your growing family, and with if you have more than one person working on it.
that there was no way you could afford it. You thought
Pablo Picasso, one of the 20th century’s greatest
you would have to put it off until you had enough money artists, once said, “Every act of creation is also an act
to support a child and you knew that ‘having enough’ of destruction.” By destruction, he meant that only by
almost never happens. Despite all of these factors, breaking from conventional ways of thinking can a
you went ahead and had the baby anyhow. Lo and behold, person put together new concepts and approaches to
it all worked out, and possibly you even had more children, problems.
once you found out you could handle it. With each child,
Retirement is an act of creation like any other.
your lifestyle changed and you adapted to fit another There is risk involved, but postponing the big day until
hungry mouth into your budget.
you ‘have enough money’ or ‘feel you are ready’ will
Just as bringing a new baby into the world births rob you of years of new adventure and the emotional
unexpected joy and happiness, consistent and thoughtful re-nourishment that comes with it. The answer may well
risk-taking will yield compound rewards even more be to go ahead and do it. Analyze the risk, make a plan
exciting than those expected. These are the surprise and proceed. Retirement is a time to awaken and live