There are some interesting comparisons with NASA history and today’s retirement opportunities in that
you must begin with a great set of calculations and some bravado, too.
My father was the Deputy Director of the Computation Division for NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center
under Director Helmut Hoelzer, one of the original German rocket engineers. Before manned space
flight, we would go to Cape Canaveral for rocket testing. If the rocket lifted off – or not - he would grab
the computer tapes and throw them and my family in the car for the trip back to Huntsville to find out
what went right – or wrong!
Likely the NASA Computation Lab used Monte Carlo simulation, modeling possible outcomes to
determine a potential course of action. That’s done in retirement planning today to make financial
decisions in advance of the many years in retirement that most people will spend. It’s an outstanding
tool to help retirees determine how much they can spend early in retirement without compromising
lifestyle later. How about that big Disney trip with your grandkids while you’re young enough to keep
up with them and not regret at the end of your life having never done it for fear of running out of
And oh, the bravado! Most retirees today were there for the nail-biting Apollo flights and the first moon
I’m proud of my father’s bravery and perseverance in facing the unknown. I want it for everyone facing
retirement. Go boldly with a great set of calculations and bravado! Give us a call, we would love to be a part of your journey!!
Laura Mickels has spent more than 30 years working for investors with both Wall Street and independent firms. CochranMickels Retirement Specialists provides personalized planning and investment services to individuals approaching and in retirement.
These are the opinions of Laura Mickels and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.