In the corner of the gym sits the dreaded scale. During every workout an internal debate occurs as to whether I should step on it and see the number or continue living in ignorant bliss. My decision might depend on whether I had dessert the night before or if I had a particularly good workout. Either way, I know it’s in the corner, sitting there, taunting me to give it a try.

Now I’m not obsessed with my weight, I eat sensibly and try and get to the gym a few times a week. My belt buckle still fits into the well-worn notch it usually does, so I’m not too concerned. But when I see an advertisement for a magic pill that will help me lose weight, while I sleep without diet or exercise, I have to admit it catches my attention.

I imagine eating as much of my favorite foods like pizza, cookies, ice cream, cake, etc. without consequences. Sign me up! It sounds great, but the only problem is that it sounds too good to be true and we all know what that means. I remember asking my doctor about these claims, he just laughed, saying that would be great, but there’s no magic pill and there’s no substitute for a good balanced diet and daily exercise.

Oh well. There goes the washboard abs and all-you-can-eat ice cream combination. This wasn’t earthshattering news, I mean I knew it all along, but it was a nice fantasy. This magic pill solution isn’t just put out there for weight loss, there are people out there pushing nonsensical solutions for almost everything including personal finance and retirement planning. Just like you have to be an active participant in your health, you have to do the same for your financial planning needs.

There’s not a single magic answer to achieving your retirement goals. It takes personal involvement and commitment, just like losing weight. The foundation for creating a financially healthy retirement starts with a solid plan. The plan is your personal roadmap; it shows you where you are today and plots out a path to where you want to be in the future.

A financial professional will work with you to create a retirement roadmap and help guide you through all of the options so that you achieve your retirement goals and arrive at the destination you planned. While it might be a little disappointing that there’s no magic pill to lose weight or have your dream retirement, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel from achieving your goals is priceless. Oh, and go ahead and get that ice cream cone, you’ve earned it.