We are currently about a month and a half out from the 1st of August, a date that seemed to start a chain reaction of political debate and legislative gridlock surrounding the debt ceiling controversy. While a last-minute compromise was eventually reached, the national and international fallout from two political parties’ very public struggle to agree on terms to raise the national debt limit has had a significant impact on the financial markets. The political struggle was followed by the S&P ratings downgrade, and a subsequent stock market nosedive. While we have gained back some of what we lost in the marketplace since then, the volatility has been noticeable. One of the things I have noticed over the years is that when the markets take a dive, people tend to fall victim to a kind of deer in the headlights paralysis. There is a general sense that if you simply wait things out, things will improve over time as the market recovers. Unfortunately, we have been essentially saying that same thing since 2001. The lesson for savvy investors is that the uncertainties of the current political and economic climate mean that a “wait and see” attitude might not do the trick this time. The consequences of inaction, particularly for those families and individuals approaching retirement age, can be damaging, and, with more uncertainty on the horizon, a failure to protect yourself could be very costly.