Helping to Plan for a Secure Retirement
Are we ready to retire?
When Mike and Vicky started seriously thinking about retirement, they came to us. They had worked hard and tirelessly throughout their lives and were finally ready to take the leap. They had done some research and tried to determine if it was time to consider retiring. They had talked to a financial advisor who handled Vicky’s retirement plan at work. However, they were told he really couldn’t help. They started adding up their social security estimates and remembered they had some other retirement accounts, from years past at other investment companies. They had utilized various online tools to determine how much income they would have and if it would be sufficient to maintain their current lifestyle. They continued to attain new concerns, questions, and “what-ifs.” Some of these tools could not factor in all of this. When they came to us, they were looking for professional advice from a team that had guided many people down this road before. More importantly, they wanted a financial advisor that could take the time to get to know what was important to them.
They had questions:
- Will our expenses go up or down once we retire? What will we need to live the way we are used to living?
- How much can be taken out of our investments each month?
- When should we start collecting social security?
- Are our investments properly diversified based on our goals and objectives? How do we know what investments to choose and what are the fees and costs?
- I’m unaware of investments outside of the stock market. Are there any investment options that aren’t in stocks?
- Can we afford to remodel our kitchen and travel, as we have always talked about?
- What if we spend more than we expect? Are we able to draw from our accounts and how does that impact our taxes?
- What if we want to go back and work part-time? Will that change our plan?
- What if our health declines and we need assistance? Will health care costs deplete our retirement fund and how do we protect against this happening?
Over the course of a month, we sat down with them three times. When we initially met with Mike and Vicky, we not only discussed their concerns and asked questions, but they confided in us. We took the time to get to know what was truly important to them. They talked about their grandchildren, traveling, their pets, their hobbies, and what goals they had for the future. They brought all of their financial information including banking information, investment and retirement account statements, prior tax returns, social security statements, and monthly expense information, among other documents. The first meeting was more information-gathering and getting to know each other.
During our second meeting with Mike and Vicky, we helped answer their questions. A lot of things were much as they had hoped. They found that they were in good shape for retirement and their plans to travel and spend money in retirement were very realistic.
There were also some surprises of which they weren’t aware. They weren’t aware of the costs that they were paying on some of their investment accounts. They now understood why those investments did not grow like their other accounts. It was due to the high fees that were being internally charged! They were also surprised to hear that the annuities they had purchased contained steep penalties and fees if they wanted to sell them.
At our third meeting, we shared strategies to help them manage these surprises and potentially work around them. We developed and presented a comprehensive retirement plan to address not only their concerns and our concerns, but a plan that offered solid solutions to these concerns. We showed Mike and Vicky personalized investment recommendations based on their goals. We discussed taxes, estate planning, costs, and the process that we use to follow through with. We talked about how we implement and monitor these recommendations as well.
Mike and Vicky hired us to help them. Now we are partners with their family for years to come. Now we have the opportunity to help keep them on track as they have begun their journey of retirement.
If you have circumstances similar to those of Mike and Vicky and would like to sit down to discuss your goals, please give us a call! We would love to talk with you.
Actual performance and results will vary. These case studies do not constitute a recommendation as to the suitability of any investment for any person or persons having circumstances similar to those portrayed, and a financial advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation.