Poor planning, late starts, financial emergencies along the way-people have many reasons for failing to plan well for retirement. So how can a planner help you catch up?
Marc Freedman, a finance professional based in Peabody, Massachusetts, notes that it’s not all that tough to fall behind. “It’s very interesting when I meet people for the first time and they say they want to focus on retirement. They want investment advice, and that’s actually the easiest part. They say, ‘Make me money’,” Freedman explains. “But the retirement planning process is more about defining the big goals. It’s not my job to tell my client what the next ten years of their life is going to look like. It’s their responsibility to tell me, and we need to work together to determine how that will happen.”
Freedman notes that based on today’s figures, the average Baby Boomer is going to live into their nineties. “Today’s 65-yearold looks younger than he or she ever has. Why would you assume that you will only have to provide for 15 or 16 years of income once you retire? You may end up having to provide 30 years or more.”
The first thing a planner does is get a client focused on that reality.
They’ll ask for a net worth statement to determine what you own and then they’ll ask for statements and documents to verify the accuracy of your statements. Then, the planner will ask the client about dreams and goals. “Not until those things are clear can a planner address the catch-up question,” said Freedman.