Imagine you just retired. You visit your mailbox to find year end statements and tax related documents for multiple accounts. You now realize that over a lifetime of saving and investing, you have more than twenty accounts at various financial institutions. At the time, making those investments made perfect sense, and there was a reason for each investment decision.
But now as you look at this hodgepodge of statements, you realize none of these accounts are working together to support your retirement goals. When you visit a financial adviser, you learn that while you were purchasing different mutual funds, many of those funds were investing in the same companies. So while you thought you were diversified, you now realize you actually have a lot of overlap and highly correlated investments.
Now that you are retired you understand that your most valuable asset is your time. You become more aware of the amount of time you spend opening statements, collecting tax documents, reading prospectuses, dealing with corporate actions, logging into various custodians, preparing your taxes and trying to keep track of it all.
It is this reality that drives many people we serve to take action to consolidate, optimize and simplify their financial lives.
Consolidation is the first step in unifying your financial life. You start by putting all of your eggs under one umbrella, but at the same time remaining diversified by having all those eggs in different baskets under the one umbrella.
Optimization is when you create a diversified strategy that will best support your lifestyle in retirement. The focus of diversification in retirement should be on cash flow. An optimized and efficient retirement income strategy should keep your fees as low as possible, reduce unnecessary taxation and be coordinated with your retirement cash flow plan.
Simplify means your retirement plan should be easy to understand, and you should be able to explain it to a 7 year old. Albert Einstein once said, “I am not a genius. I am just curious. I ask many questions, and when the answer is simple, then God is answering.”
Henry David Thoreau said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
Retirement does not have to be complicated. I encourage you to consolidate, optimize and simplify your financial life as you prepare for retirement.
As published in the Westsound Home & Garden Sept/Oct 2016