Financial Security. It's way up the list for most of us in terms of priorities. For me, right after my faith, health, family and friends. And the older we get, the more we focus on it. Age fifty seems to be the magic number for most of us, IMO (in my opinion). At forty-nine, we're thinking about the next new vehicle we're buying or our next vacation. At fifty, it's suddenly, "What am I doing about retirement? How can I be assured of financial security?"
According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, 1 in 5 Americans age 60 or older believe they will never be able to retire. But for many of us, retirement and financial security are achievable goals. It just takes articulating our priorities and coming up with a plan. About ten years ago, I was introduced to a prospective client by an existing one. I asked my prospective client why he had called. "Stacey, I'm 50 years old and have been very fortunate to have had a successful career," he replied. "But I don't want to be doing this when I'm 80. I need a plan."
I asked him why he had waited this long to plan. "Easy. Creating a financial plan just seemed too overwhelming," he said. "Meeting with a lawyer and a financial planner, having to decided what my goals are for the rest of my life, and then facing the overwhelming and depressing truth that I need however much money saved by age 65 or else be prepared to live on ramen noodles. Then pick among thousands of investments while worrying about North Korea, the strength of the dollar and whatever else the media is scaring me about. The only rational response was to stick my head in the sand."
Unfortunately, that's often the answer for many of us. In today's hectic world, we are inundated with countless choices. Even a trip to the grocery store can lead to feeling overwhelmed. But I told my prospect (who is now a client and has a great plan for retirement) that retirement and financial security have nothing to do with what the financial markets do today. They have nothing to do with what Fox Business News is saying. They have nothing to do with the hot stock tip you heard about at church. Financial security is about being able to express what's important to you and coming up with a plan. Over the years, I've had hundreds of conversations on this topic. We've worked with many clients to create sound plans that meet their needs. If you need some assistance with your financial security, shoot us an email or give us a call. We'd be happy to help.
Stacey Wall serves as Chief Executive Officer at Pinnacle Trust. You can reach Stacey by emailing him at [email protected] or by calling the office at 601-957-0323.