Another installment of our reporter’s extended interview with noted retirement specialist Phil Cannella, founder and CEO of First Senior Financial Group and host of The Crash Proof Retirement Show™.
Q: I’ve heard that you have interesting viewpoints on the relationship between finances and life itself.
Phil Cannella: Well, it’s been said that all of life is a cycle. There’s the endless flow of the four seasons. Life newly emerges at springtime, representing a new beginning, like the birth of a child. In the spring of your life, you educate yourself and prepare for your career. You find love and begin your family. Spring then evolves to summer, the prime of life. These are your working years, where you solidify your financial position and your emotional bonds. As summer transforms and moves into the fall, you begin to wind down as you approach and move into retirement. Then, as the leaves fall from the trees and winter sets in, marking the end of the cycle … or so it seems. If you didn’t know better, after seeing the trees bare of their leaves for months one would think they were dead. And so it is in all of life: A new phase begins with a new cycle of seasons.
Q: That’s a nice way of putting it.
Phil Cannella: Thank you. I often counsel terminally ill seniors to give them hope and also to give me fulfillment. I tell them a story about when astronauts travel to space. As you know, they wear temporary protective space suits so they can survive the atmospheric changes. Well, while you’re here on Earth during your lifetime, God has given you—the essence of you or your spirit—a temporary protective suit at birth, or an Earth Suit called your body. Your Earth Suit ages and changes with the years, wears and tears, and eventually breaks down. But your spirit and energy are dynamic, enduring possessions that you have been blessed with at birth that will never age and don’t die along with your body.
Q: Interesting. Go on.
Phil Cannella: So you see, it’s logical to realize that your Earth Suit is sick or terminally ill, not your spirit. Just like the leaves will fall from the trees to signal the new spring cycle is on the horizon; so will the body fall from the spirit. This is a sure signal that a new spring cycle is on the horizon for you, too. No matter what age you are physically, you probably feel younger spiritually, that is to say, you don’t feel your physical age. Your ageless spirit is your legacy that gets passed on, long after your body is gone, into a new phase of the cycle. It’s just the uncertainty of not knowing what is after death that troubles us. To see the face and the eyes of a terminally ill person light up with hope after understanding the logic of the cycle of life is nothing short of a priceless blessing for me. There is not a better feeling in this life then to give someone hope, whether it be spiritual or financial.
Q: That almost sounds like something a motivational speaker might say.
Phil Cannella: And you’re right. I certainly do hope that this story gives some light and hope for aging readers—and maybe a new way of looking at things. It has served me and my family well. And with all the cycles we experience in life, why would our economy be any different? Throughout history our economy has had its ups and downs and ups again, time and time again. The stock markets themselves inhabit just another cycle. The periodic market crashes we live through certainly attest to life’s shifting nature and the uncertainty that we inevitably face.
Q: I can see definitely the relationship between the two.
Phil Cannella: For that reason, it is good for you to curb your market risk and enter into financial vehicles that were designed to protect you. Retirement is a new cycle of your life, so doesn’t it make sense that your nest egg enters a new cycle as well? Empower yourself to drive down that retirement superhighway with peace of mind by avoiding the concealed potholes, the hidden speed bumps and the unknown road hazards. By doing so, you’ll help ensure your life savings remain fully protected and your retirement is crash-proof.