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My philosophy is to help my clients see their money as a tool and not a goal. Everyone has goals and dreams for their lives. How do they accomplish those with the finite amount of resources they have and become good stewards of their money? We focus first on the financial education of our clients, teaching them how money works before we identify options on how it can be employed.

I come to any new relationship with the heart of a teacher. I teach clients about how assets work, what they can potentially do for them, and how they’re going to be able to spend them later in life. If I can provide the financial education on how retirement income works, then we can help make sure they are adequately prepared to face the challenges and opportunities of retirement.

In our first meeting, I take clients through a presentation that helps them understand the philosophy behind our economics-based planning process. Here are some of the key points I make:

  • In many ways, retirement planning as we know it is broken.
  • Traditional retirement planning has been influenced by the competing worlds of traditional investment companies and life insurance companies. Both, in essence, steer their clients away from the other.
  • Both disciplines are needed to help maximize the efficiency of a retirement plan.
  • A sound strategy based on actuarial science is harder to come by than simply combining various types of financial products.
  • Inefficiencies in strategy could cause shortfalls in retirement income or allow major losses to occur.
  • Why does anyone really save for the long term? Ultimately, it is not just to have assets and “security” for retirement. To achieve financial security, assets need to facilitate an income stream in retirement.
  • It is important to understand the economic principles behind creating efficient income streams, in order to allocate savings and assets.
  • The metaphor of climbing up a mountain (pre-retirement accumulation) and climbing down (retirement distribution) allows us to understand that accumulation rates and distribution rates have very different characteristics and require different strategies.
  • We must factor in how retirement assets react to fluctuating returns, i.e., sequence-of-returns risk.
  • The challenge: How do we plan for adequate retirement income without the fear of running out or having to save substantially more now?

These are the financial-education concepts we will address as we help clients shape an economics-based financial plan that aims to enhance the efficient use of assets in creating retirement income.

  • Before beginning the financial-planning process, educate clients on core financial principles.
  • Explore the key themes around “seeing money as a tool, not a goal.”
  • Explain the importance of creating income streams based on sound economic principles.

Disclosure: Registered representative and investment advisor representative of and securities offered through OneAmerica Securities Inc., a registered investment advisor, member FINRA, SIPC. Personal Economics Group is not an affiliate of OneAmerica Securities or the companies of OneAmerica and is not a broker-dealer or registered investment advisor. Provided content is for overview and informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be relied upon as individualized tax, legal, fiduciary, or investment advice. Investing involves risk which includes potential loss of principal. The use of asset allocation or diversification does not assure a profit or guarantee against a loss.

Photography by Robert Hart

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