At this point your kids are likely out of the house. Your larger debts like mortgages are either paid off or close. And you have accumulated a sizeable amount of savings. The most common reason the services of a Financial Advisor are sought out at this point are to optimize what has already been done. Now ideally you would have hired a financial advisor a few phases ago so that we would have been optimized the whole way through. So, when clients come in, they may have 5 or 6 different 401k’s, several IRA accounts, a stock account, some mutual funds etc. This is great news because it means that there is savings there. However, it is incredibly difficult to manage this many separate accounts effectively. Its hard enough to just remember the passwords to that many different sites. I often see positions or whole accounts forgotten, stocks may have been good at one time but down 50-60% by the time we are reviewing, in some cases I have seen whole accounts that were believed to be invested but were actually in cash for decades. All these mistakes leave shocking amounts of money on the table and left as lost opportunity.
At this point mistakes are no longer acceptable as we are preparing to live off your savings. So, we will focus on tracking down all your assets, prioritizing based off urgency and need, and using them to create a sound financial plan. Many times, when clients first come to me, they are nervous and scared that they have not done enough. But after I am able to track down all the accounts, put things in the right places, and illustrate in an easy to understand manner what they have really done. They realize they have no reason to be worried and leave with peace of mind. This has happened so many times it is what drove my decision to name my company Serenity, because of that change in feeling from fear to peace that comes from just looking at the whole picture.
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