As human beings we are designed to feel the need to always be protected and so we grow our own personal comfort zone around most things. As a result of making some mistakes along life’s journey, we learn and hopefully grow from them, and we also learn to block or avoid dealing with or thinking about certain things that may make us uncomfortable or stir up fear. One significant area of fear for most is around their money. The increasing cost of living, pressure to save more, where to invest, market fluctuations, chasing higher rates of return, risk vs. safety, etc., let alone who wants to think about their own retirement and actually being that much older one day? I know I don’t. That’s S C A R Y stuff! But that’s life, plain and simple. We’re born, we grow up, we grow old, and well…you don’t even want to think about the end of that story, do you? Consequently we try very hard not to go there, and in our heads we typically see a younger self. But reality is different I’m afraid and that particular reality sucks. “Gee, thanks Fred” you say. Well one day you may in fact thank me for this little wake up call.
You see when it comes to your money and retirement it’s really very simple…you are going to want to have a continuous income stream, as big as possible for as long as possible, that’s it! To have the best lifestyle you can have both now and forever. Am I wrong? So if that is true, would it not be a good idea to perhaps get out of your comfort zone for just a short amount of time to figure that part out?
If you or your advisor(s) are not focused on, or discussing and calculating how this very important phase of your financial life looks & works, then may I ask you why not? What’s your plan to turn your assets into income, and in the most effective and efficient way?
While most people and their financial advisors/wealth managers are focused primarily on the wealth accumulation side of the equation, trying to earn a higher rate of return and growing your nest egg, isn’t the ultimate goal to have an ongoing income stream, what we refer to as the wealth distribution phase? Wealth distribution is an entirely different animal i.e., – the day one’s earned income stops. Stops feeding and growing your wealth and you must begin to live off of those accumulated assets, forever! Talk about an uncomfortable place to be focusing on. It’s so much easier for an advisor to focus on the investing side of the equation with clients. But where exactly will I be when I get “out there”, and how much can I spend and enjoy without the fear of running out of money during my final years? Now that’s a great question.
Complacency around money is also very risky. Fear of change, and avoiding conversations around planning, and/or devoting more time to learn and investigate possible strategies to enhance your financial future for reasons such as: who can I really trust that is looking out for my best interest, not theirs, or that isn’t just trying to “sell me” something? And you most certainly have the right to have those concerns with all of the crap that has gone on in my industry. I get it! However, I will personally tell you that there are in fact safer, highly effective, and very sound ways to be financially structured to achieve better (overall) balance. In other words, incorporating complementary financial products, working together in concert and in proper ratios, that could have a huge impact on the wealth distribution phase of your life. For you to be better positioned to have the best possible lifestyle later, with less risk and more assurance of realizing it, and with built-in guarantees. All this equates to a greater income-stream in retirement.
While these extraordinary strategies may be lesser known, and for reasons that I believe are not necessarily in the investment client’s best interest, they do in fact exist, are very real, and my sincere hope is that you will get out of your comfort zone long enough to investigate how you (and your family) can capitalize on them.
Funny…while in the middle of writing this blog I happened to see a Nationwide Insurance commercial about a husband and wife who kept finding house projects and other things to do as to avoid sitting down to have a discussion around retirement planning. (click: Nationwide Commercial) I suppose the timing for me to see that was perfect as reinforcement to why I am sending this message out into the universe…