Retirement Planning FAQ
Everything is online these days, including investment programs, retirement calculators, etc. Why do I need a financial advisor?
Retirement is called the “decumulation” phase of life, when you start to live on your savings. This phase of your life is a lot different from the “accumulation” phase when you were saving for retirement, because the dynamics of withdrawals, interest rates, and market volatility can impact your ability to sustain your lifestyle over your entire retirement. A study by The American College of Financial Services showed a potential increase in retirement income of up to 38% by working with a certified retirement income planner. The increase comes from the synergy of Social Security optimization, tax planning, withdrawal strategies, asset allocation, and other aspects of financial management.
Why is it important to work with a “fiduciary”?
As a fiduciary, we are held to the highest standard of any relationship, which is doing what is in the best interests of our client without regard to how it affects us. In our industry, that means not letting money get in the way of good advice. Essentially the fiduciary standard is equivalent to the Golden Rule—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Why would you want anything less? We believe that educating our clients and offering options is the best way to work. Our job is not to tell you what to do; our job is to help you to organize and make good decisions with your money.
What does it cost to have Freedom Retirement help me with my retirement?
The majority of our clients come to us for a retirement income plan designed around their vision for retirement and their desired lifestyle. The cost for us to create a robust, flexible, and interactive retirement income plan depends on the amount of work involved, but typically runs between $1,000 and $5,000. If you want us to work with you in managing the plan, we can reduce the plan cost; if you want a plan you can take and manage yourself or through other advisors, there is no reduction.
As a fee-based retirement planning firm, we don’t make commissions when we place funds into securities such as mutual funds, ETFs, separately managed portfolios, preferred stocks, etc. As such, we assess a fee of 1% annually, billed quarterly, on those assets. Some financial solutions we use, such as life insurance and annuities, have compensation built in, so there is no out-of-pocket cost to you. We do our best to minimize your costs.
Once the plan is in place, what then?
A retirement plan is not a “set and forget” type of thing. It requires ongoing monitoring and tweaking because change is constant. We are in this business because we enjoy working with our clients, so our goal is to have you as a client for life. In the next 10 to 20 years, we will see dramatic changes in our economy, in entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, taxation, medical breakthroughs, and in the political realm as the next generation takes the wheel. What works now may not work down the road, so it is important to be vigilant and open to new ideas and strategies.
We stay in communication with our clients through emails, phone calls, face-to-face meetings (in person and through technology like screenshares), and events. Our minimal requirement is to meet with you annually, but we find that interaction with our clients is usually more frequent.