Campbell Wealth Management - December 2019

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CampbellWealth.com • (703) 535-5300 • 330 John Carlyle St., Suite 400, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

DO YOU SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES?

I recently held a lunch-and-learn event and invited a number of people who had attended our past events. These folks weren’t clients, but I wanted to see how we might be able to help

them by inviting them to this educational event. I covered several topics such as tax strategies, Social Security planning , and downside

protection. I also got into estate planning. In short, we ran the gamut of retirement planning topics. At the end of the presentation, I got some intriguing questions. These were questions that got me thinking — are people not seeing the forest for the trees? I got a lot of questions about several topics. Social Security was a common one. People brought up the fact that they didn’t need to plan to receive Social Security benefits. They would simply start taking them at full retirement age and go from there. Is there any reason to not take Social Security at full retirement age? If you’re our client, you probably know the answer. For some people, it may make sense to take Social Security benefits when they reach full retirement age, and for others, it might not make any sense at all. However, the issue is really about planning. Without proper planning, you could be leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table over the course of your retirement. We believe everyone needs a retirement income plan. We sit down with every client, develop a plan, and then we go over it together every year. When you have these types of sit-downs, we talk about enhancing their income and setting up their income flow to be as tax-efficient as possible. We cover a lot of ground, including the “right time” to take Social Security.

On their own, very few people ever put a plan like this together. They don’t think about holding off on Social Security. They don’t dive into investment strategy or fully understand how to invest or where to invest. It becomes guesswork and that can be frustrating —which comes back to why people ultimately don’t bother with it. As I got more questions from this lunch-and-learn group, I was seeing that most, if not all of them, had no real downside protection either. The market has been going up for the past 10 years. This is the longest it’s ever gone up. Plus, it’s hit record numbers. Going into 2020, not having a downside protection strategy could spell trouble. When the markets crashed in 2008, many people lost a lot of money. Entire portfolios were wiped out because so many people didn’t have downside protection strategies in place. They were coasting. We don’t want our clients to go through this. This is why we created downside protection strategies into their portfolios. If the markets take

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