The Ride of Your Life:

Financial Planning with a Motorcycle Rider  

Article written by Brian Bickett

I was reflecting on my most recent long-distance motorcycle ride (My First Saddle Sore 1000) and realized how my preparation really set me up for a successful trip.  The preparation gave me the confidence that it could be done safely and left enough flexibility to adjust to likely challenges.  Before I left that morning, I had thought thru the scenarios that I would be able to handle (rain, drowsiness, minor mechanical issue) as well as the ones that would cause me to end the trip (flat tire, exhaustion, encounter with a large animal).  This confidence let me truly enjoy the ride and not worry about what may happen next.

Ride Preparation

As I look back at my prep for the ride, it hits me that I follow the same process for every long-distance motorcycle ride I have been on in the last 20 years.  Granted it has evolved over the years as I have learned from both good and bad experiences.  But the process remains similar.

It starts out with a destination.  Either someplace that I’ve always wanted to see or somewhere inspired by hearing about someone else’s adventure.  I then break out the maps to first see if the route is reasonable given the available time and the riding abilities of traveling companions.  Many considerations go into the planning the trip including points of interest along the way, likely fuel and overnight stopping points, the climate and terrain of the route and what gear is needed.  You always have room for everything you need but not for everything you want.

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I have yet to have a ride happen just as I had originally planned, so now I build in some flexibility up front.  Adjustments to either the route or timing happen due to weather, road construction, mechanical or physical issues and when locals let you in on the little known roads and sights.  Effective preparation always leaves room for these changes and allows me to focus on enjoying the experience of the ride.

The planning process that I use with Iron Mountain clients follows a very similar set of steps and ends up having the same benefits.  We identify the clients’ destination, analyze options available, educate on pros and cons, build in some flexibility, and start off on the initial route.  Life happens, challenges arise, destinations change, and sometimes the locals let you in on something you didn’t know when you started off.  Adjustments are made as needed.  Having a process and guide to help you along your journey allows you to focus on enjoying the ride and not on worrying about what might happen next.

Financial Planning with a Motorcycle Rider

Enjoying life on a motorcycle is more dangerous than in a car.  The motorcycle rider always pays more for mistakes on the road regardless of whose fault it is.  This enhanced awareness that tomorrow is promised to no one helps me to be more present in my life and influences how I work with clients.  While it is important to plan for tomorrow, I also encourage clients to live today.  Why put off a dream until “someday” if we can work thru the steps to bring it to tomorrow?  Money is not the goal but simply a tool to be used to help you live the life you want to live.

I encourage you to live your life with intention and if you would like some help with planning the ride of your life, it’s what I do for a living. Click here to schedule an introductory call. 

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Brian Bickett, CFP at Iron Mountain Financial Planning, LLC

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