It’s never too late or too early to start a financial plan

Accumulating wealth for retirement is not something that happens organically. No matter your age or life stage, it’s important to have a clear goal in mind for your retirement so you can start making progress towards your goal. Unfortunately, this type of financial orientation is much less common than it should be according to financial experts.

“It’s shocking how few people have a plan,” said Jed Levene, Certified Financial Planner and Managing Director of Rockwater Wealth Management. “For those who have even made a plan, it’s often a one-time thing. They made the plan, they stuffed it in a drawer and never saw it again.

This kind of cavalier attitude toward their financial future often leaves people in dire straits as they approach retirement. To avoid this situation, it is not only essential that people have a plan, but also the right financial planner. Levene says each individual planner has their own philosophies and skills, so it’s important to choose the right one to work with.

“People have advisors who manage their money well, but that’s all they do,” he said. “They don’t commit their clients to a plan. People also think they can deal with it later, but the sooner you can put a plan in place, the better. It’s like saying, “I’m going to drive to Florida and get a map when I get to Georgia.” Obviously, this is not the best course of action. »

Levene suggests meeting with a few different financial advisors to determine if their philosophies and strategies align with what you hope to achieve financially in the short and long term.

“If you go to three different advisors and bring them the same goal, you’ll get different advice from each. Some may be aggressive in the market; some may be more conservative. Some may be very detailed in their financial planning, while others may not be at all. You need to figure out which direction you want to take.

At Rockwater Wealth Management, Levene says the goal is to simplify the planning process by adopting a goal-based approach to financial planning. Building a solid plan is more important than choosing assets to achieve financial goals, which should include establishing a guaranteed level of retirement income, Levene says.

“Our firm is very important to making sure you still have your dignity in retirement,” Levene said. “We are working together to determine the monthly income necessary to guarantee that you can stay at home, have access to transport and feed yourself. We want to make sure that whatever that amount comes from guaranteed income sources.

Ultimately, Levene says taking a proactive approach to your financial future is the only way to ensure you have adequate financial resources for your retirement. This means saving some of your discretionary income, regardless of investment strategy or rate of return.

“You could be in a great investment earning 12% per year, and I may be in a mediocre investment at the start of 3% per year,” Levene said. “But it’s possible to get a 12% rate of return and achieve none of your retirement goals, or get a 3% rate of return and achieve all of your goals. It all depends on the plan you follow.

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