In financial planning, the first question most clients ask is: “How much money do I need to retire?” The answer is: “Every client has a different financial situation, once we complete the discovery process and understand more about your long-term retirement and financial goals, then we can have a better idea about your asset level in retirement. Below are the three major phases of financial planning:
The phase in retirement planning where you are working on saving and investing for your long-term goals. We recommend that all our clients starting saving earning in a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k) to set aside money each paycheck to save for retirement especially if your company offers an employer match. Compound interest at a young age is one of the most important aspects of retirement planning in the accumulation phase and investing in low-cost funds with dividend reinvestment has historically been a great way to grow capital over the long term.
In your higher income earning years, it is very important that you have a financial plan that works well with your retirement plan. As we discussed the 401(k) before, you should be maxing out your contributions in the income planning years.
We will work with you to discuss other investments to help build wealth over time such as IRA’s, Roth IRAs, and individual brokerage accounts with long term investments.
These are just a sample of the questions that we ask clients, however there is not a single answer for every client as financial planning and retirement planning is different for each client.
Once retired, we look at all your assets & liabilities and put together a monthly budget for your living expenses which we identify as a retirement need and then discuss the “wants” in retirement. This includes Travel, Vacation, Gifts, Second Home etc.
During this stage in financial planning, we also want to discuss reducing risk in your overall portfolio since you are no longer earning income. We work with you and your CPA to discuss the best strategy for your social security benefits and other income generating assets that you might have accumulated over your higher income years.