No matter if you have millions of dollars saved up for retirement or very little, many of us worry about our retirement years. There are keys to retirement success but nothing is simply black and white.
Each one of us needs to assess our own situation, make changes along the way and be flexible when unexpected setbacks arise. For those with a financial advisor, it’s wrong to just step back and hope he or she is doing the right thing managing your investments.
You have a lifetime of earnings and hopefully a large savings, it’s easy to get comfortable and expect a financially secure retirement, particularly if you believe you are working with a reliable, financial advisor. Well don’t be so sure.
Bryan S. Slovon is both founder and CEO of Stuart Financial Group in Greenbelt, Maryland and he encourages each of us to take charge of our financial well being to ensure a financial retirement success.
Slovan says, “Life is rarely that simple or black-and-white and, unfortunately, neither is the financial realm. It’s worth reflecting on where your advisor is coming from,. If they are not fully independent – as in not working for a large institution – their advice may be biased toward sales.”
He continues, “Further complicating matters are various professionals in the financial industry. Whether or not a professional means well, the fact remains that many are actually trying to sell products.”
Slovon offers three key tips for financial wellness and hopes it leads to financial retirement success for us all.
1) Audit your current and future expenses; spell out your plan. If you don’t have a plan for your money then you’re just hoping for things to work out. You can do better than that, even though changes in your plan will likely occur at some point. The most basic aspect of a financial plan includes understanding your current budget, which could be compared to expenses expected in the future. The more technical side of things, such as how to save on taxes and make your money go further, would benefit from analysis by a truly independent financial advisor.
2) Listen to your doctor – so to speak. If you want to enjoy your golden years, good health is arguably the most important step – and it’s cost-effective. He states, “More specifically, doctors often tell patients that they can be of service only in as much as patients are doing their part for good health. A healthy diet, exercise, regular doctor’s visits, etc. are necessary. These things help provide good health. A similar kind of vigilance is required if you want to fully enjoy your money in retirement.”
3) Focus on your taxes, and perhaps tax-favored investments. An important part of understanding your budget, and making it work better for you, is getting reliable professional analysis on your tax situation. You may be paying much more than is necessary. If you are expecting to retire in the near future, you may especially benefit from analysis of your tax budget.
Slovon continues, “Most of us give our lives to our work and families our entire adult lives. If you’re nearing or in retirement, it’s time to focus on you. That means you’ll need at least some professional financial help. However, you are the best person to oversee your own economic fate.”
In closing he says, “Perhaps the arithmetic of personal wealth should be much simpler, but like it or not, the rules of economics are riddled with fine print, unexpected or inadequately explained conditions, and loopholes.”
So as you can see, it’s ultimately each of us who needs to be our own best financial advocate. Although you may need a team of professionals such as a CPA, financial advisor, lawyer, etc…, don’t forget to stay involved all along the way. You know the saying, “You snooze, you lose.” Make sure that doesn’t apply to you and stay on the right path for your own personal well-being and financial retirement success.