It is to assist people of all ages and backgrounds, to be able to look forward to their retirement years with wistful eyes. That is not always the case. Recently a couple, both 70 years of age, came to my office after listening to our weekly radio show.
Their situation was pretty sad. The free review I had promised revealed a grave situation for which I had no promising solutions. The desperation in their eyes bled through their forced, hopeful smiles. Most of my clients are age 55 and over. Something, from outside their comfort zone, rattles their cage of protection and causes them to look outside the cage. What they saw, or perhaps failed to see, was something we often call “retirement security.” Their situation was one that, as a professional, causes a tear to form in your eye. What is it that causes your heartstrings to break? Is it because you can’t show a strategy that will generate adequate retirement income? You know Social Security is not sufficient to meet their needs as they age in place.
In my case, this couple had only $1,642 in liquid assets between them. Somewhere, sometime, somehow, in their previous lives, they failed to prepare or plan for their retirement years. They are there, now. They failed to recognize that certain decisions, at critical stages of life, can have adverse consequences when it is absolutely too late to make a difference.
They spent everything as they earned it. They saved nothing. Their only hope, was for both of them to remain well enough to work the remainder of their lives. That’s right. They both will have to work the remaining days they have on this earth. They are impoverished.
When we open our eyes and look around us, we take for granted that most people have pension plans, 401(k)s, IRAs or other retirement income programs. Problem? Much of these funds are couched in investment vehicles that are subject to negative markets and long recoveries. Seniors do not have time for long recoveries.
It is a true privilege, for which I am thankful, to help people achieve financial needs and dreams during their retirement years. They deserve the very best I can offer, regardless of resources they may possess be it $2,000 or $2 million. Being a financial advisor is, in fact, one of the greatest privileges of modern times. We should all be honest, sincere, patient and grateful for our professional careers. We are privileged servants who help clients discover secure, safe options to assure a comfortable retirement income for the
balance of their lives.