Given that I focus exclusively on retirement planning for individuals, I am often asked the simple question, “Why?”.
There are three primary reasons:
(1) It’s needed. The American College conducted a retirement literacy quiz with over 1,200 Americans age 60-75 with at least $100,000 in household assets (not including their primary residence) and the results were putrid.
• Retirement literacy remains low – 74% failed the 38-question retirement literacy quiz!
• Roughly 5% of respondents scored a B or higher (80%+).
• 47% correct was the average score (mean & median).
• Retirement literacy improved slightly from 2014 – 81% failed in 2014! Over 74% failed the 38-question quiz and only 5% scored a B or higher
This is why #RetirementLiteracy is so important to me. Helping people is the whole point of this blog. Yes, people do end up finding me and working with me via this medium, but far more people will read my blog than I could ever possibly serve. And the end goal is helping people. Period.
(2) Because I feel I relate best to folks at that stage of their life. I truly enjoy talking with people that have a wealth of life experience. Conversations are always fun and there is almost always something I can learn from them. I’ve been called an “old soul” or a 65-year-old in a 35-year-old’s body more times than I can count. So, it makes sense I suppose.
(3) To truly help, I believe you need to be a specialist because successful retirement planning can be complicated. That’s what I’d like to expand on here.
In retirement planning, there are a plethora of areas where your retirement plan can go drastically wrong if done improperly. Below is a list of questions that anyone planning for their retirement will want to be sure are addressed to reduce their overall risks in retirement. Here goes…
- How can you create a sustainable paycheck from your portfolio?
- What should you do if you retire and the market crashes?
- How much can you safely withdraw from your portfolio?
- How can you minimize Medicare costs while maximizing benefits.?
- Should you go with Medigap or a Medicare Advantage plan?
- What is the best Social Security strategy to balance the need for income today and the longevity of tomorrow, while accounting for potential survivor needs?
- What rate of return should you plan for over the next 30 years?
- How should you prepare for a long-term-care scenario?
- If inflation picks up - what changes should you consider making to your withdrawal plan?
- How much should you have in bonds vs the Great Companies of America & the World?
- Which accounts should you withdraw income from to minimize taxes, Medicare premiums, and Social Security taxation?
- Should you consider an annuity? If so, what is the right type of annuity for you?
- What to do financially speaking if/when your cognitive ability declines?
- If you don’t need income from your portfolio, should you consider Roth conversions, various charitable giving opportunities, or pass assets along during your life? How might that impact your bottom line today and your future estate plans?
- How can you minimize inheritance/estate taxes at the federal and state levels?
- Who is going to help your spouse, financially speaking, if you pass away unexpectedly? Is he/she prepared for that possibility?
- Have you protected yourself from a liability scenario due to an accident of some sort?
- Should you downsize or modify your home to prepare for old age?
This list could honestly go on and on. These are just the few that came to mind within a few minutes. Long story short - retirement planning is complex.
Am I saying that no one can/should DIY their retirement planning? Of course not. But as a retiree, you only get to go through retirement one time. As a retirement planner, I get the collective experience of going through retirement tens/hundreds of times. And I live, eat and breathe retirement for fun. Seriously, I do - it’s weird I know.
I think anyone planning for retirement that
It’s my perspective that advisors that aren’t specializing may be putting their clients at risk because they could be overlooking certain issues. For what it’s worth, I’m not saying I’m perfect (I’m far from it), but I am dedicated to learning as much as I can as fast as I can because it’s the only thing I’m doing.
Long story short - the stakes are high when it comes to retirement planning. There are no do-overs. You literally get one shot at this thing and there are a zillion places to make mistakes that could wind up costing you a lot of unnecessary pain/money. And I am passionate about doing all I can to improve the odds of success for retirees everywhere.
I hope this helps answer the question.
Thanks for reading!
Related reading - another one of my perspectives:
Why I Advocate for Passive Investing for Clients
We have clients across the country; if you’re looking for a retirement planner to help you make a comfortable transition into retirement and want to see if we’re a good fit, reach out to me here. To see how we work with out-of-town clients, see here.
Disclaimer: Any opinions are those of Ashby Daniels and not necessarily those of Raymond James. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.