One of the most frequent mistakes committed by near–retirees is to attempt to manage their own retirement assets without the appropriate background, or even worse, by listening to pundits on TV. Many people have met with us to review their current financial condition in preparation for retirement. Similar to a physician, we performed a comprehensive review of the various financial and other data to determine if these individuals’ expected course of action was possible.
After adjourning our introduction meeting, we quickly analyzed the information and determined that the goals established by many of them were not going to be realized based on their current financial condition. Generally, other important matters need urgent attention instead of their finances – most often this could be a significantly ill spouse. To provide our clients with perspective and vision toward the future, we perform our analysis and request a meeting to discuss our findings. This is a strategic review meeting and we ask the individuals to bring their spouse.
Is it plausible to believe that women and men think differently about finances? Even more critical, could a spouse’s definition of “happiness in life” differ from their mate? The answer is an emphatic “YES”! Many of the people we guide to, and through, retirement experience a different opinion from their spouses. By reconciling these opinions and providing perspective to the most important of life’s challenges, our clients find solutions that contribute to a more rewarding and enjoyable lifestyle.
Don’t people retire to allow themselves time for those things in life that they had not been able to enjoy during their careers? Most marriages, in our experience, are not equally balanced with input from both partners in deciding financial decisions. To complicate matters, with medical advancements, it is conceivable that many people may live longer in the retirement phase of life than their career spanned! This simply means that one should be prepared for a considerable amount of time in which financial stability and consistency would provide confidence and clarity to the family.
By focusing on our clients, our goal was clear, we seek to provide a plan for retirement that addresses both spouses’ goals and guides them through retirement with practical advice that maintains their desired lifestyle. After carefully defining and understanding our clients’ risk tolerance and cash flow needs, we assist our clients in creating a retirement plan that brings smiles to both of their faces.
To simply plan for appropriate funding of retirement is not considering all the factors that may occur in life. One should always plan for contingencies. Our substantial history as CPAs and Certified Financial Planner practitioners has taught us to live by the phrase – “Plan for the worst and hope for the best”. By simply focusing on one aspect of life, you may set yourself up for some difficult days at a time in life in which you are least capable of surviving financially.
Do yourself a tremendous favor. Seek out a second opinion that your complete financial picture is, in fact, what you think you possess to live life by your design. You may learn from others’ mistakes by utilizing someone who specializes in the needs, desires and challenges of retirees. What have you got to lose? If you are financially “healthy”, wouldn’t it be a relief to know this fact? Conversely, if you knew you weren’t prepared properly for the future, this is news that would give you great confidence in life.