By: Stacy Van Alstyne

Do you consider yourself a lucky person, or do you always seem to hit each and every red light?  When it comes to your future, specifically your retirement plan, it may be all too tempting to leave it to fate. But there’s more to luck than meets the eye.  


Common thoughts that are akin to leaving your retirement to fate are:

  1. Saving for retirement sounds like something so far away that it can easily be shelved for later.
  2. You’ve heard you must have a gazillion dollars saves.This is so daunting that you simply give up without trying, figuring that somehow it will just work out.
  3. You know you have an employer-sponsored plan, and you figure they are taking care of it. 

Much like luck, there’s more to it. Fast Company recently looked at a study of people who consider themselves lucky and came up with common threads.  They readily apply to planning a retirement future.

Lucky people maximize chance opportunities: They create, notice, and act on opportunities.  When it comes to saving for your future, employer-sponsored plans are the obvious opportunities, but others to consider are personal savings plans like IRAs.  These are important even if your employer offers a defined benefit plan.

They listen to their hunches: Know your hunch in terms of risk tolerance—do you have many working years ahead of you to take on greater investment risk? Validate your hunches by seeking sound financial advice and market outlooks from reputable sources.

They expect good fortune: Anxiety precludes you from seeing possibilities, a calm optimism allows you to spot them, says Fast Company.  Ignoring retirement planning and forgoing saving makes it impossible to realize a savings goal.

For more on planning your future, check out our Financial Wellness and Retirement Security resources.


Stacy Van Alstyne, CEBS

Communications Director at the International Foundation 

Favorite Foundation service/product: Personalized research services. The information the specialists come up with is gold—so much better than Google searches.

Benefits related topics that get her attention: Given she works in PR, whatever is hot now. Retirement security—loves the chance to encourage people, especially those starting out, to save.

Favorite Foundation conference/event moment: Meeting the President during the DOL’s Savers Summit which the Foundation helped produce; experiencing the power of 6,000 members in one room during Annual Conference’s opening session; trying not to cry during Scott Hamilton’s talk in 2012. Felt better when I saw a Teamster next to me sniffling.

Personal Insight: What does Stacy do to unwind from the stresses of life in the PR pressure cooker? She paints cows. No, not paint on cows. Paintings of cows. As our resident “foodie,” Stacy’s lunch leftovers are a delicacy to her office mates.


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