Family Wealth blog

Hurricanes and Retirements

A happy elderly couple sits on a park bench, oblivious of the huge hurricane behind them.

The recent fury of Hurricane Idalia, which struck Florida’s Gulf Coast and several other states, is a stark reminder of nature’s unpredictable force. Similar to the unpredictability of these natural events, the complexities of retirement and family wealth management also require strategic planning. Here’s a deeper dive into how looking at two of life’s givens—hurricanes and retirement—can teach us at least seven lessons about retirement planning.

1. Understanding Risks

Before any hurricane, closely monitoring weather updates is essential to anticipate potential damage. This allows for better preparation and, when acted upon in time, can save property and even lives. Similarly, in financial planning, assessing your family’s wealth, understanding market volatilities, and setting both short-term and long-term financial objectives are crucial. This not only improves the chances for a comfortable retirement but also helps in maintaining an inheritance for future generations.

2. Preparation is Key

For hurricane preparedness, essential items like food, water, and communication tools need to be gathered. This kit becomes a lifeline during and after the storm. Similarly, for retirement, a diversified financial portfolio acts as your safety net. By investing wisely across various assets and securities, and perhaps even considering generational wealth management, you lay down a foundation not just for your retirement but also for your family’s financial future.

3. Clear Plans

When a storm looms, understanding evacuation routes and safety protocols can make all the difference. In the world of retirement planning, transition strategies, like deciding the right age to retire, understanding how and when to liquidate assets for maximum benefit, and exploring healthcare options become pivotal.

4. Stay Connected

During a hurricane, connecting with family, neighbors, and emergency services is essential. Similarly, in the journey towards retirement, open channels of communication with family members, financial advisors, and investment experts are invaluable. Communicating about retirement planning can be made a lot less stressful when one’s goals and expectations are made clear. The goals when preparing for a hurricane are simple: stay safe and protect property as much as possible. The goals for retirement are much more complex. Luckily, there is more time to communicate those goals with everyone, including financial advisors. It’s about being prepared for the short term and the long term.

5. Flexibility

Hurricanes often shift paths, requiring quick thinking and sensible adjustments to plans. Similarly, financial markets fluctuate, global economies change, and personal circumstances evolve. As you plan for retirement, adaptability is key. But here’s where hurricanes and long-term investment strategies follow different paths. With long-term investing, the short-term volatility is typically observed but not reacted upon (through panic selling, for instance). The flexibility comes from creating a solid financial plan as early as possible and then making adjustment well ahead of any major life changes.

6. New Beginnings

After the devastation of a hurricane, communities band together, rebuilding stronger than before. This can take time, sometimes years. Retirement can be seen in the same light. It’s a phase of life where you’re free to explore new hobbies or passions. This phase, by the way, now lasts an average of 30 years, so the new beginning of your retirement deserves a lot of attention and planning. No disasters allowed!

7. Emotional Readiness

The emotional toll of facing a natural calamity or entering a new life phase, like retirement, cannot be underestimated. It’s not just about having the finances in order; it’s about mental well-being. Engaging with financial advisors, participating in investment seminars, or even family discussions about wealth management can offer clarity, reducing the anxiety of the unknown.

The Takeaway

One more thing: storm surge. Before Idalia’s arrival in Florida, meteorologist were making repeated warnings about the dangers of storm surge. They know what they’re talking about. It’s too soon to estimate the damage to properties along the coast—and inland—but it will certainly be in the millions and perhaps billions.

When it comes to retirement planning, consider the warnings and advice available from financial advisors. They may or many not have weathered actual hurricanes, but the experienced once have certainly already guided numerous clients through varied life stages, including the intricate journey towards retirement.

So, don’t just plan for the expected; prepare for the unexpected. Life’s unpredictability, in both natural events and financial planning, teaches us the value of preparation and adaptability. Ensuring that your financial future is secure isn’t just about preparing for retirement; it’s about creating a strategy robust enough to handle unexpected challenges.


Preparing for Hurricanes and Your Retirement: Tips for how to weather the storms of life no matter where you live; Copyright © 2023 FMeX. All rights reserved. Distributed by Financial Media Exchange.

Disclosure: This information is for educational and informative purposes and shall not be considered a specific recommendation. Readers are advised to speak with their advisor at JL Bainbridge to determine their specific recommendations that meet their investment objectives and to review their portfolios. The material being provided is thought to be accurate. However, the information is compiled from multiple resources and may become outdated or otherwise rendered incorrect by new research or corrections without notice. J.L. Bainbridge & Co., Inc., is not a broker dealer and does not offer tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor for assistance regarding your individual situation. It should neither be assumed that future results will be as profitable or that a loss could not be incurred. For more information related to our firm, please see our disclosure brochures at and

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