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It’s been a long wait, but football season has officially kicked off (pardon the pun). Pretty soon the leaves will start changing, the weather will cool off and the tailgate grills will heat up. Many people meticulously plan out every detail for game day: Where they are going to watch the game, what they are going to eat and whom they’ll be watching it with.

Let’s face it. This football stuff is pretty serious business and entails a lot of anticipation and planning. There are a lot of similarities between football and retirement that you may not have thought about. For one thing, they’re both approached with anticipation and excitement, and require a lot of preparation. In football, there are 4 quarters separated by a halftime. During the first quarter both teams are still sizing each other up and figuring out what parts of their game plan are working and what parts aren’t.

That’s kind of like the early stages of your retirement planning where it’s still off in the distance, but the plan has been put in motion. By the end of the first half of a football game your team might be ahead or trailing behind. The good news is there is still plenty of time to win the game. In retirement planning, the end of the first half is similar to getting near or at retirement age when there’s still plenty of time left to adjust your plan. Half time is when you gather the team and regroup. You identify the things that are working and those that need adjustments. When the game enters the second half you start to realize that there is less and less time to make up deficits. If you are ahead of the game you may want to play it a little more conservatively and not do anything too risky. If you are behind, it becomes crucial to figure out a way to win. That might mean changing out some of your team members who may be underperforming.

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So am I talking about football or retirement planning? See, I told you there are a lot of similarities. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the first half of your planning or entering the second half of retirement; we all want to win this game.

If you are unsure about your current game plan or how effective some members of your planning team are it’s time to take action. Get a second opinion on your plan by a qualified financial professional and find out if your plan has what it takes to win. Many qualified financial professionals offer a no obligation, complimentary second opinion review. That’s the time to get your questions answered and see if any adjustments need to be made. Don’t wait for the clock to run out on your retirement dreams, there’s still plenty of time left in the game so go out there and win one for the Gipper!