Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

Robert Norton • Hammonton, NJ
Norton Wealth Management • LPL Financial

Over the years, I have conducted a variety of informational seminars or webinars on retirement planning or focused areas of retirement planning such as Medicare, Social Security, and estate planning. I have invited third-party professionals with specific areas of expertise to join me in several of the presentations. These have generally been well attended and, while focused on education, do offer attendees the opportunity for a complimentary consultation if they would like to have a further discussion.

I included some of my thoughts on the value of retirement planning in a book chapter that I contributed to “The Soul of Success.” This book was edited and compiled by the well-known author and speaker Jack Canfield.

Here is a brief excerpt, similar to the message I present in seminars:

“Imagine you are going to fly from New York to San Diego but there is only enough fuel on the plane to get to Denver. When would you think it would be best to address this issue? Over Denver, when you are now out of fuel? Or, on the ground in New York?

“You would obviously want to deal with this issue before you left the ground. A successful retirement works the same way. You do not want to be five – ten – fifteen years into retirement only to realize you are now out of money.

“According to a study by Wells Fargo, of 1,000 middle class Americans, 70% of those with a written retirement plan are confident they have enough money for retirement. Of those without one, only 44% are confident.

“An even more pronounced finding was that those with a written plan had three times as much saved as those who did not. This does not have to be an eighty-page document. A concise overview will work in all but the most complex cases.

“A ‘successful’ retirement has a different meaning for different people. Does it mean more time to devote to grandkids, or more time for leisure and travel? Getting your golf handicap down to single digits? Or it could mean being able to devote your time to charitable enterprises or starting a new business. Whatever it means to you, the first step is to identify your income needs and developing a plan to meet those needs. …

“I am always surprised when I meet someone who … is unwilling to spend a couple of hours to plan for a retirement that can last decades, though they will spend hours planning for their vacation. Putting our heads in the sand like an ostrich and hoping for the best is not a plan or strategy.

“Do the work and get your plan on track. Once you are up and running with a solid long-term plan you will have done the bulk of the work. Now you, along with your advisor, will monitor your plan and any changes in your life, and adjust accordingly. When you have a plane up in the air and cruising along on a proper flight path, the hardest part is done. Now you need to monitor the equipment and watch the weather so you can make any needed adjustments. …

“Do these things now, get your plans in place and you can fly off into your retirement with confidence.”

Disclosure: Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA & SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, a registered investment advisor. Private Advisor Group and Norton Wealth Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Photography by Jack Mazzeo

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