Goal-Oriented Retirement Planning: Energy for Your Retirement 79 Don't worry--you won't have to do the math for these calculations because a variety of calculators are available for you to use on your own or with a financial planner. Alternatively, visit www.retire- mentcountdown.com and use the GORP tools. Summary All chapters of this book are important for you to understand, but this is the most critical. This is the foundation that teaches us to break these big goals down into smaller goals, to get our arms around them, and to keep us from procrastinating. It also underscores the need for us to plan, plan, and plan. Waiting is the worst thing you can do if you have any doubts about your ability to meet your retirement goals. I also want to put another point into perspective as we close this chapter. As a writer and someone who has lived in the financial services industry for 25 years, I sometimes struggle with finding a balance between providing too much information and not providing enough. This chapter exempli- fies that struggle. If given the luxury of limitless pages to write and without concern for losing your attention, I could write a book on this chapter's content alone. But the practical reality is that I have limited time and space to accomplish my mission, which is getting you started on the road to defining and reaching your retirement goals. Wake-Up Call A key reason that people do nothing is that they believe that if they don't take action, they can't fail. This is very flawed logic; for most people, doing nothing about their retirement will result in failure rather than the achieve- ment of their goals. As I said earlier and will undoubtedly say again, you have to do a lot of this work. And if you don't have the time to invest, do some soul searching and muster up the effort to bring in some help. Power Checklist · With financial planning in general, and retirement planning specifically, it is imperative that the planning process begin as early as possible. You can't make up for time lost in the savings process. · When faced with financial adversity, make the decision to do something about it. · Put failure into perspective by changing the lens you use to view the results. There are two possible results to any action, and we learn from both. · It has often been said that success is the result of preparation meeting opportunity. · If you find that you cannot realistically achieve your goal, you have to quickly decide what com- promises you are willing to make. · Goal-oriented retirement planning (GORP) is a way to break financial planning down into small steps that are easy to monitor, modify, and achieve. · Matching the characteristics of your assets to the characteristics of your goals is critical to the success of GORP. · GORP forces you to be disciplined in your approach to investing by creating the path to sys- tematic investing and by forcing you to invest in only what is consistent with your stated goals.