Barry and Adam wrote and published the book “Guided Retirement Income Planning” in November 2020 to create higher levels of financial literacy and to show a comprehensive and logical process for executing income planning in retirement. Since we believe that this subject matter is so important and relevant, we are going to roll out one chapter each month. While our approach and philosophy will remain consistent in every economic cycle, customization for each household will vary.
We want to emphasize that some of you are not close to retirement and it is never too early to plan. You may also have loved ones, friends, or colleagues that are in need of help. We would be pleased to send them a complimentary copy of our book. We simply hope to help as many people as possible. As we present these chapters, we invite you to circle back to us with any questions or concerns about the content and how it relates to you.
Please enjoy Chapter 21 below! If you missed any of the previous chapters, you can read them all on our blog here.
Your Partners at MGFS
The Value of Using a Financial Advisory Firm in Retirement Income Planning
“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” (Napoleon Hill)
You always need to confront important financial and non-financial decisions. This is in the pursuit of effectively implementing investment decisions, tax strategies, and legacy planning. Financial mistakes in planning, or not planning, for that matter, can lead to huge consequences in retirement. It is important to design and monitor an income plan that calms your emotions, and manages risk factors and income shortfalls.
Advising clients is both an art and a science. The art reflects practicality, suitability, customized advice, and superior service. This is valuable and instills confidence. The science reflects retirement planning and working through complexity. Our advisory firm brings them both together so that you may go and live the life you want to live.
Not all advisors and advisory firms are created equally nor do they have “The GRIP Roadmap.” It took the length of this entire book to describe your potential priorities, relevant concerns, and the necessary steps associated with retirement income planning. “The GRIP Roadmap” philosophy and process are defined throughout this book and can be viewed as The Guided Retirement Income Plan (GRIP) Flowchart – Chart 5.1 (end of chapter).
The following values will help you evaluate an advisory firm:
- Advisory firms need to be trustworthy and act as fiduciaries, putting the client first and working in their best interest.
- Credentials such as professional designations and years of experience reflect competence.
- Long-term vision and a succession plan should align with your time horizon.
- Clear disclosure of the advisors’ areas of expertise, services they provide, and compensation.
- Willingness to communicate when something is not in their line of expertise.
- Service structure should include multiple members of the firm.
- Promote ethics, integrity, and professionalism in their practice and for their clientele. Pursue higher standards of responsibility beyond mandated regulatory requirements.
- Diligence: care and attention to detail.
- Commitment to a lifelong practice of ongoing learning and research in current and relevant financial planning topics, law, product choices, changing demographics and social trends, and the macroeconomic environment.
- An advisor should have a definable, executable, and repeatable planning process, either formalized in writing or agreed upon in other ways.
- Compatibility with the adviser(s) is of the utmost importance.
Are you getting the rhythm of all of this?
Here are additional services that advisory firms provide, much of which has been covered in this book:
- First and foremost, the advisors have an obligation to build a dynamic retirement plan that provides enduring confidence over periods of uncertainty and severe market corrections.
- Concentrate on clients’ goals.
- Act as coaches to help clients identify, understand, and overcome behavioral biases that lead to impulsive and irrational decisions.
- Be honest when the plan is or is not on target.
- Manage clients’ expectations and help them stay focused.
- Assist clients in assessing and meeting their current and future income needs.
- Help clients understand and plan around the various risks in retirement.
- Provide clients with clarity and a path forward.
- Manage withdrawal strategies.
- Incorporate tax efficiency in the retirement plan and work with clients’ tax professionals.
- Assist with maximizing social security claiming strategies.
- Recommend and implement suitable and sustainable investment and insurance portfolios.
- Monitor and manage the plan as needed.
- Initiate regular contact for planning and reviews.
- Provide consistent communications regarding the economy, market, and tax law.
- Produce educational and fun events to build upon and preserve ongoing relationships.
- Comfort clients in times of turbulence and uncertainty by keeping things in perspective and staying rational; help clients stay calm, worry less, and sleep at night.
- Guide clients with their legacy planning that includes protecting the needs of loved ones, ensuring that wills and beneficiary designations are current, working through charitable intentions, and interfacing with the clients’ estate planning attorneys.
While we have summarized many of your potential tangible needs and expectations from a financial advisor and their firm, the greatest advisors help their clients with intangibles and make the ongoing experience personal. Every good advisor and their firm should endeavor to help you create the retirement plan you need for your ultimate retirement.
A TOAST TO YOU
You thought it through; you did it right
All the details too; you can sleep at night
You started saving many years ago; it started slow
And you watched it grow; it’s now plateaued
You kept up the pace; you won the race
Your goals are set; expectations are met
The risks discussed; the numbers crunched
Your plan’s in place; the future embraced!
As you retire from full employment
There’s no second guessing; just pure enjoyment
Your confidence is high; and excited to try
To relish the fruits of your success
No more fears to confess; you can lose all the stress
The hard work is over; the timing is closer
Pat yourself on the back; your plan’s in the black
Just enjoy yourself; be proud and stay smart
Live your dream; laugh a lot and stay young at heart
So a toast to you! A job well done!
Go live your life! Go have some fun!
And if ever there is a day when your mind goes astray
When emotions get in your way; and your plan looks gray
Call your advisor for a review who then could honestly say
The words that will make your anxiety go away:
“Don’t worry, you are going to be OK”!