How does one balance current quality of life needs with the need to save for retirement? And what is the optimal mix for the earliest – and most rewarding – retirement possible? Bob Len, Wolf Group Capital Advisors (WGCA) Managing Director says “When it comes to planning and investing for one’s future, many people and their advisors focus solely on maximizing wealth. It is our belief that building wealth in order to optimize the balance between one’s current quality of life and future quality of life is the key.”
What does Len mean? WGCA believes that current and future retirees need to not only consider wealth spreadsheets and investment decisions, they need to take into consideration what they desire in respect of their quality of life now – as well as for the future. “While we want our clients to have comfortable retirements and secure financial futures, we don’t want them needlessly sacrificing their current living standards,” says Len. Ultimately, planning is most successful when one understands what they are getting and what they are giving up to ensure that the balance is what they want it to be – not only from a financial perspective, but from a quality of life perspective as well. Too often, financial advisors only understand the financial side of the equation when what is most ideal is to consider the tangible – as well as the intangible – aspects of retirement in making informed retirement planning decisions.
Clients are often unknowing when they do not understand their financial situation in comparison to how it can serve their current and future quality of life goals. They ultimately want to know how much longer they need to work before they can move from the accumulation stage of their lives and into the distribution stage of their lives. That is, when they can stop working and start enjoying retirement? In the next few paragraphs, WGCA shares real-life examples of client situations that were optimized from a retirement planning perspective:
In one situation, a client approached WGCA with the conviction that they “will have to work until we’re 80.” They had not analyzed their financial situation and had the misconception that they did not have enough saved to retire comfortably. WGCA determined that based on their reasonable living expenses, their portfolio size and the amount of retirement income they were anticipating, they would not only be able to retire prior to age 80, but they would be able to retire immediately and enjoy the lifestyle they had always dreamed of—traveling the world on their houseboat. Receiving a postcard every holiday season from this client from a different port-of-call is a reminder of how balancing current and future quality of life needs can enable clients to actually live their dreams.
Another client was in a similar situation as they wanted to retire to a golf course community but “knew they couldn’t afford it.” As WGCA probed further, we concluded that if they were able to decrease their living expenses by just $500/month, they would be able to retire immediately. The client said they would gladly decrease expenses by $500/month to be able to retire 10 years earlier. Because of this advice, they were able to enjoy their mid-50s through their mid-60s in a much different fashion than had they been working.
Clearly, a sound financial plan that takes into consideration future as well as current quality of life issues can not only provide a roadmap for accomplishing one’s financial goals, but it can also provide the feasibility for fulfilling one’s dreams. Financial models for wealth maximization is a goal, however it’s not the only goal. While financial models certainly serve as a guide for decision-making and provide perspective, the implementation of sound advice from advisors who take a holistic approach to retirement planning ultimately results in clients who are able to take much greater control of their future and markedly improve overall quality of life for the better.
Start planning for your future now by contact us at (703) 502-9500 to schedule an appointment with a financial advisor.
Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Wolf Group Capital Advisors, or one or more of its officers or employees, may have a position in the securities discussed herein, and may purchase or sell such securities from time to time.
Additional information, including management fees and expenses, is provided on Wolf Group Capital Advisors’ Form ADV Part 2. As with any investment strategy, there is potential for profit as well as the possibility of loss. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
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