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Our Mission

Our Mission

You've worked hard your whole life anticipating the day you could finally retire. Well, that day has arrived!  But with it comes the realization that you'll need to carefully manage your assets to give them lasting potential.  Most of our clients are either planning for, or are already in retirement and want to make sure they don't outlive their assets. Many of our clients have been with us for many years and are typically patient investors, have long term horizons and believe in the growth of the world’s economies over time.

With over 30 years’ experience working with investors and having managed clients assets through several major market declines during that time – the crash of ’87, the bursting of the tech bubble from 2000 to 2002 and the financial meltdown in 2008 and 2009 - we understand the challenges that sticking to an investment plan in turbulent times can present. Over the past 30+ years, we’ve witnessed the Dow Jones go from 1,000 to 23,000+ in spite of 5 major market declines during that time.

Communicating with our clients on a personal basis and simplifying the investment process are ways we help our clients avoid the typical financial pitfalls when it comes to handling their money in retirement.  Here are some suggestions to help you manage your assets in retirement.

Review Your Portfolio  

Traditional wisdom often suggests that retirees should value the safety of their principal above all else. For this reason, some people shift their investment portfolio to fixed-income investments, such as bonds and money market accounts, as they approach retirement. The problem with this approach is that you'll effectively lose purchasing power if the return on your investments doesn't keep up with inflation.  While generally it makes sense for your portfolio to become more conservative as you grow older, it may be wise to consider maintaining at least a portion of your portfolio in growth investments to offset your longevity risk.  

Watch Your Spending

Don't assume that you'll be able to live on the earnings generated by your investment portfolio and retirement accounts for the rest of your life. At some point, you'll probably have to start drawing on the principal. But you'll want to be careful not to spend too much too soon. This can be a great temptation, particularly early in retirement.  A general guideline is to make sure your annual withdrawal rate isn't greater than 4% of your portfolio. Remember that if you draw too much principal too quickly, you may not be able to earn enough on the remaining principal to carry you through the later years.

Understand Your Retirement Plan Options

Most pension plans pay benefits in the form of an annuity. If you're married, you generally must choose between a higher retirement benefit paid over your lifetime, or a smaller benefit that continues to your spouse after your death. A financial professional can help you with this difficult, but important, decision. Other employer retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, typically don't pay benefits as annuities.  The distribution and investment options available to you may be limited as well.  

Consider whether it makes sense to roll your employer retirement account into a traditional IRA, which typically has very flexible withdrawal options.(*1) If you decide to work for another employer, you might also be able to transfer your 401k account to your new employer's plan as long as your new plan allows rollovers.

Plan for Your Required Minimum Distributions

You are generally required to start taking minimum distributions from employer retirement plans and traditional IRAs when you reach age 70½.  If you are still working at your employer and are a participant in their 401k plan at age 70 1/2, you are not required to begin your minimum distributions.  f you own a Roth IRA, you are not required to take any distributions during your lifetime. Your funds can continue to grow tax deferred, and any qualified distributions will be tax free.(*2)  Due to their tax benefits, it generally makes sense to withdraw funds from a Roth IRA last.

Be Aware of Your Social Security options

You'll need to decide when to start receiving your Social Security retirement benefits. Normal retirement age (66 to 67, depending on the year you were born) is when you can receive your full Social Security benefit. You can start your Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but your benefit will be reduced. If you delay retirement, you can increase your Social Security retirement benefit.

What If You're Facing a Shortfall

What if you're nearing retirement and your retirement income may not be enough to meet your expenses? If that's the case, you may need to change your spending and saving habits. Saving even a little money can really add up if you do it consistently and earn a reasonable rate of return. By making permanent changes to your spending habits, you'll find that your savings will last even longer. Start by putting together a budget to see where you're spending your money. Here are some suggestions that may help you:

• Refinance your home mortgage if interest rates have dropped since you obtained your loan, or reduce your housing expenses by moving to a less expensive home or apartment.
• Access the equity in your home. Use the proceeds from a second mortgage or home equity line of credit to pay off higher-interest-rate debts, or consider a reverse mortgage.
• Sell one of your cars if you have two. When your remaining car needs to be replaced, consider buying a used one.
• Transfer credit card balances from higher-interest cards to a low- or no-interest card, and then cancel the old accounts.
• Ask about insurance discounts and review your insurance needs (e.g., your need for life insurance may have lessened).
• Reduce discretionary expenses such as lunches and dinners out.

By planning carefully, investing wisely, and spending thoughtfully, you can increase the likelihood that your retirement will be a financially comfortable one!

(*1) When considering a rollover, to either an IRA or to another employer's retirement plan, you should consider carefully the investment options, fees and expenses, services, ability to make penalty-free withdrawals, degree of creditor protection, and distribution requirements associated with each option.

(*2 )To qualify for tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, a Roth IRA must meet a five-year holding requirement and the distribution must take place after age 59½, with certain exceptions.