F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S , L L C
IS IT A BRAND-NEW YEAR — OR ARE YOU IN THE SAME OLD RUT?
All too often, when we prepare for retirement and then finally get to retirement, we find ourselves afraid of change. The way we were doing things was working, so we expect it to continue to work in retirement.
But just because something works doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change. There is no guarantee that what works today will work tomorrow.
As new tax laws go into effect, for example, the way your income is taxed will change too. You may fall into a new tax bracket. You need to take time to review your goals, dreams, and desires.
You also need to understand that retirement is made up of three phases, as I’ve shared in the past. These phases are Go-go, Slow-go, and No-go.
When this happens, it’s time to take the opportunity to do what you can to lower your tax burden while making your accounts grow. You may even test the waters by gifting some of your assets to your children slightly earlier than you originally expected. Or let’s go a stage further, to the No-go phase. People in this phase are not traveling unless they absolutely need to. You’re looking to your money to give you “wealth care.” This is when it’s time to readjust your investments and income. You may be looking into hiring someone to help you with your daily living or looking into longer-term care. Neither of these phases should be looked at in a negative light. Rather, it’s healthy to embrace changes that are taking place in your life. Your portfolio needs to change, as well, to keep up with your life changes. Remember, at the end of the day, and as you enjoy your retirement, your assets are a tool that should be used first and foremost for your personal benefit. Let’s start the new year by making sure you’re ready for new opportunities and that you avoid falling into the same old rut. –Gary Mattson
I recently sat down with a client who told me he could not feel comfortable enjoying his retirement. His previous advisor wasn’t making him any money, and one of his goals was to pass assets on to his children.
He continued on to say that all of his friends had been able to save more money than he had. He asked, “Why can’t I enjoy my retirement?”
There was more to the story than met the eye. He had also recently lost his spouse and felt like every day was getting on the treadmill to do the exact same thing, as if she were still with him. He hadn’t changed his state of mind or the way he was approaching saving for retirement. His world had changed dramatically, but he hadn’t changed with it. One of the reasons why his retirement wasn’t going as planned was because he had lost his equilibrium. He needed to refocus. When a major event changes our world — a change in health, the loss of a loved one, or even major market gains or losses —we need to assess where we are right now and where we need to be, both in the short term and the long term. Let’s say you’re at a point in your retirement where you’re no longer interested in travel. You’re becoming discerning about how you spend your dollars. You’re getting a little older, and as a result, you’re entering the Slow-go phase of retirement.
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