If you’re at or nearing retirement, you’re likely realizing there is still much to do to ensure you’re prepared for your golden years. If you’ve already been working with a Financial Professional over the last 30 or so years, you may be getting ready to (or you may already have) schedule a meeting with him/her to discuss your plan for retirement. However, have you considered contacting a retirement income advisor?
It is important to understand is that this distinction is a mistake that could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in retirement and ruin your financial life.
Most people do not realize there’s a tremendous difference between a Financial Professional and a Retirement Income Planner. In fact, a client of mine, whom I call a friend and is now living out his retirement plans, realized this before it was too late.
A Common Investment Management Story
About 12 years ago I received a call from a gentleman who said he needed help. For his privacy we will refer to him as John Doe. John told me that he had spent the last 34 years working in the manufacturing industry as a production engineer.
He was a guy who put in long hours and spent most of his day working hard on his feet. It was no surprise to learn John’s job was stressful as his production goals were increased year after year without the help of additional staff on his team. He was one year away from his retirement, and he had a list of financial goals that he and his wife wanted to accomplish.
At the time, John had been working with a Financial Professional for the last 10 years and was pleased with his results in his retirement accounts. John’s Financial Professional had helped him through the 2008 market collapse by limiting his loss of principal, and invested him properly so that he was on his way to recovery. It was because of this John said he had a good relationship with this Financial Professional.
After hearing this during our initial conversation, there was only one thing I could say to him: “It sounds like you are very happy with your Financial Professional, so why are you calling me?”
It was what John had expressed to me next that opened his eyes to reality and the difference between a Financial Professional and a Retirement Income Planner.
Retirement Income Planners Understand your Post-Income Financial Fears
John told me that his Financial Professional had been very insightful for the past 10 years and did a great job helping him accumulate his wealth, through wealth management. But as he was starting to approach his retirement years he realized he needed to change his strategy and plan.
As John approached his retirement years, he was much more concerned about overall market volatility and how it may affect his short-term needs. He was worried about the retirement savings he had spent the last 34 years accumulating and wanted to make sure they lasted as long as he did so he wouldn’t run out of money.
Another issue of concern for John was the political environment and how this could affect his financial products and taxes in retirement. He was unsure which retirement accounts he should begin taking income distributions from and how this income would affect the taxes he would pay on his Social Security income.
In addition to market volatility and taxes, John was concerned about RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) as he did not fully understand how they applied to his own individual situation.
All of these were important and legitimate financial situations that concerned John about his retirement strategy. You see, he realized that if he did not take these concerns into consideration, it could be the difference between him living his best life in retirement or having to go back to work.
I learned that John had previously addressed his concerns with his Financial Professional, but he did not get the feeling that his advisor had much experience with retirement income planning. That’s when John became overwhelmed with fear and realized he needed to find someone who could address his concerns and put his mind at ease. He needed more than financial advice. This is the moment John called me.
After learning more about John’s situation and his concerns, I assured him that I had been helping my clients through these challenges for many years. In fact, John was not alone in his situation as the majority of pre-retirees I’ve spoken to have similar stories.
Retirement Income Planning & Strategies
Together, John and I developed a Retirement Income Plan that safeguarded him from all his concerns. He was relieved from his worries because this retirement income plan included a step-by-step process that gave him direction on:
- Which retirement accounts he would draw from first
- When he would take his retirement income
- How he was going to claim his Social Security benefit
- When he was going to claim it
Having this Retirement Income Plan in place and knowing the steps he would need to take through his retirement years gave John the confidence that he and his wife could accomplish the goals they had set for their retirement.
Today, John and I continue to talk regularly to address any issues that come up and we face them head on following our original plan. John still wonders how his retirement may have ended up had he not realized the difference between a Financial Professional and a Retirement Income Planner.
I wanted to share his story because I continue to meet people who are having these same concerns with their current Financial Professional and do not realize the importance of working with a Retirement Income Planner to plan for the descent into and through retirement. If you are one of them, I strongly recommend you reach out to a Retirement Income Planner. It will change your life and your retirement will be all that you expected it to be.
It’s important to understand the difference between Financial Professionals and Retirement Income Planners and what each can offer for your retirement. Whatever you do, don’t settle for less than you deserve – call Intelliplan Financial today!