“Do you do financial planning?”
“How much income can I expect to draw?”
“Do you consider taxes?”
“Will I receive checks?”
These are just some of the questions I receive from investors. If you’re with me, you know these items are part of our regular conversations. If you’re not with me, then I hope you have someone you can depend on for the answers you need.
But for today, let’s tackle some of these and get into this. As I’ve said before, investing is more of an art than a science. As we all know, you can’t always follow “the science.” In other words, glossy financial plans or financial engines have an expiration date. Life changes. Your financial situation changes. You change. Markets change. You adjust to deal with them. It’s what we talk about in my conversations with you.
How about your income? How much can you draw? Well, it depends on how important it is for you not to outlive your money. When I tell investors what I believe to be a reasonable draw rate, I either get a “Good, we can do that,” or silence, then more pause, and “We were hoping for more.” Sorry. Look I’m Your Survival Guy. My palms sweat when investors tell me they “need” this or “that” from the market. I’m interested in reality—what you’ve saved, what you’ve earned—and I craft a reasonable plan from there. That’s it.
The key ingredient or input is YOU. You’re the single most important factor in whether or not you’ll have the retirement you deserve. You control your success in your work, and you control how much you spend and how much you’ve saved. My job is to work with your lifetime of savings and sacrifice—to be your Prudent Man—not to be the guy making false promises to get your business. There’re plenty of “products” those guys would love to put you in and charge exorbitant fees.
Taxes, social security, second homes, downsizing from your existing home, vacations, education, sale of businesses, saving for grandchildren, establishing trusts, and keeping beneficiaries up to date, are a few of the ingredients of my business. In my conversations with you, we talk about these things. We check in with each other. We make sure we’re always on the same page. Are we rowing in the same direction? Simple, yet hard to do.
What good is a 15-year plan when the world you were investing in just two years ago is completely different?
Action Line: The most important ingredient to your success is YOU. Are you getting the advice and care you need? Are you receiving the white-glove service you deserve? Is your advisor in tune with you? Will he give it to you straight, or are you with a “yes” man? You know the truth. Don’t settle for less. If you need help, I would love to talk with you.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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