Sometimes the best financial advice comes from unlikely places. Consider the famous directive uttered on "Monty Python's Flying Circus": expect the unexpected.

Those three simple words are the bottom line message from "Retirement Derailers," a survey from Ameriprise Financial. "Derailers" are occurrences like the recession, the need to help a child or grandchild or the loss of a job that can throw a long-term financial plan off track.

"These events are likely to happen," said Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies for Ameriprise. "The most important thing an advisor should take away is to tell their clients that the unexpected will happen."

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