Introduction - You CAN Plan
Your Own Retirement
Are you looking forward to your retirement? Whether you
want to retire this year, or in 40 years, you can have the retirement you want
if you plan for it. And yes, it does take planning – by YOU. Only you know
what income and expenses you have now, and what you want your retirement to look
like. Please don't think you can leave the planning of your retirement in the
hands of a hired gun: a retirement planner.
planner is, first and foremost, a salesperson. Many retirement “planners”
spend the bulk of their efforts discussing different investment vehicles with
their clients. Much attention is paid to presenting prospective retirees with
usually incomprehensible and complex detailed charts and graphs showing the
retiree potential annual percentages they can expect to earn on their money if
put into a mix of financial products. Note: these are usually financial
products which earn an elegant commission for the planner.
All too often, however, retirement planners stare plainly through their
clients as though transparent; interested primarily in providing an investment
service, in earning a commission, and in moving along to their next
almost-nameless customer. Rare is
the planner who will begin at the beginning; spending hours to make sure the
client has laid out a careful map to retirement, taking into account the
realistic cost of living today AND tomorrow, and who will help that client
determine whether or not comfortable retirement is even genuinely possible at
guide is not meant as the complete solution to your retirement plans.
It's meant to make
you savvy, so that you know what's appropriate for you, and so you know
which questions to ask of any and all financial advisors. Look on this guide as
a foundation for retirement planning;
a universal set of principals and ideas that apply to most people in most
situations--- so that you can plug in your own numbers and make some early
decisions before taking the time to meet with a bonfire retirement planner. It
is our hope that by reviewing this guide, readers will enter into discussions
with planners having a better understanding of the big picture before being
pressured into making a decision on how to invest their funds.
You may review our information and determine that retirement is further
away than you thought and, in that realization, you may save yourself
considerable time and risk. Do not, however, attempt to use this guide as an
end-all tool to create and live by a retirement plan. All information provided
is intended only to give you more to think about, new angles to consider, and to
provide a strong enough beginning for you to follow through more thoroughly in
creating a solid retirement plan with an advisor only
after you’ve educated yourself and are better-prepared to deal with them
and to raise key questions in conversation that otherwise might never have come
up at all.
Be reminded of the old adage: Information IS power-- and
use this guide simply to help you become more powerful, before dealing with the
advisors who are already well steeped in financial investment lore.