Mount Everest and the Decumulation Retirement Portfolio

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Towering at 29,031 feet above sea level, Mount Everest is not only the highest peak above sea level on Earth but also one of the deadliest to climb. Hundreds of lives have been claimed by those bold enough to pursue this challenge, with a majority occurring above Camp 4 South Col, often referred to as the “death zone.” Some fail to gather the appropriate provisions to not only scale to the top of the mountain, but also successfully make it back down to the bottom.

The glory, prestige, and self-accomplishment of making it to the top, compounded by harsh conditions, has blinded individuals from making sound choices in this high-stress situation, which can unfortunately result in tragedy, injury, and even death.

mt everest

In many ways, the journey involved with reaching the summit of Mount Everest parallels the journey to a secure retirement. First, both require thorough preparation for and familiarity with the challenges of the physical or financial environment ahead. Secondly, resources must be efficiently allocated to reach the peak, while keeping in mind those same resources must last through the descent or later half of the journey. Finally, there is always the possibility of a storm, but you can navigate to a safer place that’s less exposed to heightened risks by bringing along a trusted guide. While the retirement journey may be less treacherous and may not mean life or death, it also comes with its own unique risks, challenges, and obstacles.