I've heard countless clients tell me how they 'failed' at retirement. They enjoyed it for the first three weeks or even three months, then yearned to return to work. They were not ready for it. In some instances, I take blame for this as I did not adequately prepare them for this new freedom. The freedom to do what they wanted, when they wanted. The successful ones were ready for this new way of life, as they had already practiced via a trial run what they were going to do. The unsuccessful ones didn’t. They did not plan.
To increase your odds of a successful retirement, here are a few things to keep in mind as you contemplate this new way of life:
My family may be a lot like your family. We have a doctor, nurse, lawyer, therapist, professor, corporate executive, electrician, engineer, project manager, consultant, public employee, designer, and many more across the occupational spectrum. I wrote this article so that it applies equally to all of them.
A bit of background: During our family reunion this year, which we held in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, I was asked to provide some financial planning advice to our family of 35. Unfortunately, this never happened given we were all intent on other activities. Had I had a chance to replay the week, here is a list of 10 items I would consider as financial hacks of sorts that presumes one is already doing the obvious to prepare for retirement:
If you've been following the news the past several months, particularly the financial news, odds are you've heard the word "fiduciary" a few times. Specifically, the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule has been the subject of much press. As the client of an advisor, friend of an advisor, or simply someone who likes to keep up with the financial landscape, it is important for you to know what this rule means. But the rule is also complex and in a state of flux, so we'd like to share this update from our July newsletter, in which WealthPoint President Brent Walker outlines the DOL's Fiduciary Rule and how it may affect you:
Last Friday, Equifax, one of the major credit reporting bureaus, issued a press release announcing that on July 29 it had discovered "unauthorized access" to data belonging to as many as 143 million U.S. consumers. We have compiled some information that we hope may help you understand what happened and what to do next.
Do you know what happens when you die? I’m not asking in a spiritual or physical sense. I’m asking about what happens from an estate planning perspective. Do you know what impact your death has to the financial and developmental well-being of your children? What if both you and your spouse die at the same time? What about your house? Your car? The things in your closet? Your financial accounts? Who makes these decisions and who receives your assets are important to anticipate.
If you follow investing much, you may have heard some talk recently about the US stock market reaching all-time highs. This is true; as I write this the Dow Jones Industrial Average recently crossed the 20,000 mark for the first time ever, along with new high marks for the S&P 500, the NASDAQ, and various other US stock indices that measure market performance. This seems like a good thing, and probably is for those of you invested in US stocks who have seen some nice growth lately. However, along with these record highs comes plenty of doubt and fear. Are stocks too expensive? Are we due for a correction or market decline? Should I get out while the getting's good?
"Why am I doing this?" This question crossed my mind more than a few times recently as I detached myself from the real world for hours (days? months?) at a time to study for my CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) Certification Exam. I studied after work until I fell asleep, I studied while I ate lunch, I turned down plans with my friends. I knew it was important for me to get this certification, but why?