25 or 6 to 4

In Retirement Thinking, The Insider by Adam Cufr

A couple of years ago I chose to rediscover the band, Chicago. They’d become so ingrained in our day-to-day through their ballads and familiar hits that it’d been easy to not even notice them any longer. They’d become ubiquitous, just…there. And so I decided to dig deeper to learn more about the band and their music that came long before ‘You’re the Inspiration’. And while my kids can now sing along with some of the old Chicago Transit Authority deep cuts, one story about the band caught my attention. Stop me if you know this one.

The song, 25 or 6 to 4, has a backstory that I love. The lyrics say it all but like many familiar tunes, I really wasn’t paying that much attention. “Waiting for the break of day, searching for something to say…sitting cross-legged on the floor…25 or 6 to 4…” The song was written about the process of writing the song. He’s sitting there in the middle of the night, 25 or 26 minutes before 4:00 AM, trying to come up with the next big hit song and he can’t; the words are just not happening. So, in a stroke of genius, he writes about the excruciating experience of not being able to come up with a song. The rest, as they say, is history. (Here’s a link to the song if you need a refresher)

Why am I telling you this? Well, it’s 6:52 on Thursday morning, I can’t think of anything worth writing about, and the Weekly arrives in your inbox every Friday morning at 9:00. And since I have a day full of meetings today, I’m doing my own version of sitting cross-legged on the floor…7 or 8 to 7. Yeah, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it, huh. I guess that’s why I play drums and do retirement planning and Chicago is Chicago.

The work that I do and the work that you do makes us vulnerable at times. When we just don’t feel like we can figure it out, and we fear the world is going to find out we’re not as smart and productive as we want them to believe, we panic a bit. If you thought you’re the only one, I’m here to suggest that you’re not. The struggle is real for all of us.

So, while I wanted to share some great insights with you today about taxes, the stock market, retirement income planning, or social security, all you got from me is a song. It’s a great song and a catchy one (sorry if you’re going to have it stuck in your head all day), but it’s more of a reminder that we’re not always able to find the right words but maybe that’s okay.

As always, if YOU have something to say about taxes, the stock market, retirement income planning, social security, or anything else for that matter, just hit reply to this email and let me hear it. Because maybe today, You’re the Inspiration that I need.

All the best,

Adam Cufr, RICP®