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Part: I UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM AND TH... > Tick Tock Goes the Retirement Clock

Chapter 1. Tick Tock Goes the Retirement Clock

Thomas Edison was quoted as saying that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration—prepare to be inspired and to sweat. Congratulations on taking this step toward empowering your retirement. You've gotten your hands on this book, and you're ready to partner with me as your guide to climb this retirement mountain.

You will find this book very conversational. Imagine me as the little guardian angel on your shoulder whispering into your ear (and occasionally shouting benevolent words of encouragement). My goal in writing this book is simple and straightforward: I want to educate and empower people who are struggling with their own retirement issues.

There's an old Chinese proverb that basically goes like this: “Tell me something and I'll forget it, show me something and I may recall it, but involve me in something and I'll understand it.” I want you to understand the consequences of your action or inaction, and I want to provide you with a path to achieve your goals. This first chapter is all about overcoming inertia and establishing the proper mindset as we prepare to learn about retirement issues and build a framework that will ultimately provide you with the retirement of your choice. This won't happen without a lot of hard work; the hardest fought victories always feel the best.

Carrying forward our Far East references, 2,500 years ago, there lived a military expert by the name of Sun Tzu. He and his father before him were renowned across the land as being not just great warriors, but great military strategists. Those who have studied Sun Tzu understand that one of his core principles was avoiding conflict, not forcing conflict. He was also well prepared for achieving any goal, and I've always been able to apply his principles during my career. Imagine that achieving your retirement goals is a war and listen to Sun Tzu's thought: “Conquerors estimate in their temple before war begins. They consider everything. The defeated also estimate before the war, but they do not contemplate everything. Estimating completely creates victory; estimating incompletely causes failure”.

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