How do you choose which advisor or firm you work with?
I would bet that many of you have thought about this at one point or another, when you started your savings or retirement planning. Although, maybe you haven’t started or maybe it was never a decision you had to make? Whatever the reasoning, I believe what it boils down to is TRUST. I will get into more detail but let me start by making a few observations and ask questions. How solid is your relationship with your advisor or planner? And no, I’m not talking about a stock broker or anything other than a long term financial planner. Are you 100% open about your current situation, your dreams or goals, or even your fears? Maybe you’re in the category of having to use someone because of a personal relationship? There are many different reasons but the reason I bring it up is it is something you need to ask yourself.
I am sure you have seen an advertisement or heard someone tell you that they are, or their firm is committed to you, a holistic approach, a comprehensive planning firm, etc. etc. All great keywords, if we were back in the early 90’s. But today, there has to be more. The big firms, whether they tell you or not, cater to a minimum– okay, to be fair, not everyone has a minimum or floor when talking to a prospective client. But, it is important to be mindful that this does occur, so take mental notes of your surroundings and what is said. Now remember, this is coming from someone who has worked at big firms and large broker-dealers. I know all sides and I can tell you, being independent and “fee-only” is by far the best platform I have used. Why is that? Well for starters, I can pick and choose who I work with and who I go to for advice, I can get products at lower fees to you, and I can be 100% transparent in what I advise and why I am doing it. The fiduciary factor is also a big reason I am confident in the service we provide.
TRUST – how much trust do you have in your current relationship? And not just the surface factors, but deep down, do you completely believe in the advice? Are you holding things back because you’re afraid of feeling embarrassed or showing your “lack” of knowledge? I’m here to tell you that without that information or those questions, I cannot recommend any plan of action that will make you feel any sense of comfort. The biggest value to working with me and Mantz Wealth Management Group is we account for your current situation and consider the reasons you are where you are – good or bad. No judgement! We plan around today and prepare for tomorrow.
Life is a wild ride with many twists and turns, and when you think about your money and savings, you need to take that into effect. Your plan should be fluid and you should know that it will change over time. Maybe it is a new product or investment available, maybe it is a major life event, or maybe it is a change just based on comfort. Whatever the reason, you want to understand the change and why it was introduced.
Which brings me back to the TRUST factor. If you choose a “comprehensive” or “holistic” planning firm: you might end up with a cookie cutter approach or treated just like everyone else in your similar situation. This is not what you should expect! You are hiring us, to listen to you, to educate you and to advise you with the best way to live now, while preparing for tomorrow. When you have that trust and reveal who you are under all those masks, then we will be truly at a point to help you. Maybe there is a mental block that no-one knows about or something in the way you were raised, that is keeping you from your true happiness. Ha, remember, it’s not all about numbers, everything needs to be on the table.
This is our process. Planning around today and preparing for tomorrow. Go to our website, www.mantzwealth.com and download the “10 steps to a successful retirement” and request a quick conversation. There is no charge and if we can help, even just a little, isn’t it worth your time.
Wondering where your income will come from in retirement? You may have a pension, a 401(k) or even an IRA or other personal savings. No matter your situation, however, Social Security is almost certainly going to be a part of your retirement income mix. Nearly 90 percent of all retirees rely on Social Security benefits for a portion of their income.1
Your Social Security benefit amount is based on a few factors. One of the biggest is when you file. You can file for benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Generally, the longer you wait, the higher your benefit amount will be.
Another big factor is your career earnings. Your Social Security benefit is based on the average of your 35 highest-earning years. Of course, that could be problematic if you have limited work history. For example, perhaps your spouse has a much higher earning history than you do.
Death and taxes. The old saying goes that they’re the only two certainties in life. Both will play a large role in your retirement planning. While you may not be able to control or predict when you will pass away, you can certainly implement a strategy to manage your taxes and reduce your exposure.
Many retirees fail to incorporate taxes into their budget or income strategy. They may feel that because they are no longer earning income, taxes are no longer an issue. Or they may simply assume that much of their income isn’t taxable.