Money & Finance

Retire with Confidence: All You Need is a Plan

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If you want to retire with confidence, have a plan.

“As you near retirement age or even within a decade or so, it is time to start doing some serious financial planning,” said Larry Stein, CFA, author of Peace of Mind Investing. “Retiring with confidence is to develop a plan that makes sense, executing it, and reviewing it as least every five years to make sure you’re on track.”

Stein addresses a number of risks we need to consider – those we know and don’t know. This includes increased longevity, inflation, family responsibilities (such as caring for parents,) healthcare, and interest rates. All could have a major effect on finances and lifestyles.

Stein says a couple with both spouses at age 65 today has a 50 percent chance one of them will live past 92, and a 25 percent chance one will live to 97, in which challenges can arise. Unless you have serious health risks or unfortunate heredity, basing your financial planning on a 95-year lifespan makes sense.

“Peace of Mind Investing” is built on a single premise that’s been time-tested through the Great Depression, two World Wars, and multiple other major events, yet is incredibly simple. The grand premise: stock prices rise over time. Stein’s book boils down to the following key points:

  • First, set return goals that make sense for your personal situation. The only benchmark that would make sense is to achieve your personal goals over a time horizon that fits your specific situation. Your performance goals should be the rate of return you need to live comfortably through retirement. The true measure of investment performance is your return through a full market cycle, up and down. “Beating the S&P 500 or any other such nonsense is pure noise and distraction,” says Stein.
  • Second, manage risk through asset allocation and rebalancing.
  • Third, trim risk during euphoria and overvaluation; buy during times of fear and undervaluation.

Stein says retirees and pre-retirees must manage risk vigilantly. Withdrawals from a portfolio that sustains significant declines can accelerate the loss in value. Risk management is imperative.

Below are six more signs that it’s time to get a financial plan:

 

  • You’re planning (or just had) a big life change. New job. New house. All of those milestones and more are signs that you should be taking a big-picture look at your finances. Taking this opportunity to put your house in order.
  • You’re worried about your finances, and your future. If money worries keep you up at night, a financial plan can help ease your mind. Whether you have immediate worries or are just feeling uneasy about what tomorrow may hold, you can regain control over your life by having a clear direction. Often, goals that seem distant and unachievable become more realistic once you can see the intermediate steps needed.
  • You’re making good money, but you’re not sure where it goes. If you want to turn today’s income into tomorrow’s wealth, you need a financial plan. That way, you’ll be able to take the money you’re bringing in today and use it to create a secure future for yourself and your family.
  • You have financial goals, but you’re not sure how to make them a reality. Does retirement seem like a distant dream? Do you wish you could upgrade to a bigger home, send your children to college without taking on debt, or start a business? With a financial plan, you’ll know what you need to do financially.
  • You and your spouse are fighting about money. If you and your spouse can’t see eye to eye on money issues, a financial plan might be part of the solution. Meeting with an objective third party like a financial planner can help you both understand where you stand when it comes to your finances, and then negotiate a path forward that works for both of you.
  • Your investments and finances are getting so complicated, it’s difficult for you to keep track of everything. Many people start out managing their investments and finances on their own. That often works for a time, but as your money and life get more complex, it can be difficult to manage all the details without help. A financial plan will help you identify the best was to save, find ways to reduce taxes, and protect yourself against risk. With the help of your advisory, you’ll be able to understand your total financial picture and take the steps necessary to achieve your goals.

 

Justin M. Connors, MBA is Financial Advisor, Founder and CEO of Connors Wealth Management. He was recently named the 2015 LPL Financial Chairman’s Club Recipient.

Connors Wealth Management is located at 101 N. Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach. Call (321) 868-0732 or visit www.connorswealth.com


Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Investment advice offered through Connors Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.

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