It’s not what you know…

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.”  When it comes to retirement, we believe that it’s the following:

  • What you know
  • Who you know
  • What you do with what you know

So let’s talk about what you know first.  At GenWealth, we continue to be concerned with the general lack of financial knowledge that people have.  They might have a million dollars and multiple degrees and still not understand investing.  It’s not that they are not intelligent; it’s just that they have never been taught about investing.  Furthermore, about the time they figure out the basics of accumulating money, then it’s time to start withdrawing income for retirement, and the knowledge based needed completely changes.

 

WHAT YOU KNOW

While it’s important to understand investing, that part can be learned when you engage with an advisor, but there are some things that you need to know that only you can answer.

  • When do you want to retire?
  • How much money will you need to have each month to make ends meet?
  • What sources do you have to help you meet your income needs?
    • Pension?
    • Social Security
    • Retirement plans from work, etc.
  • What are some risks that concern you?
    • Outliving your money?
    • Making sure that you are not a burden to your family as you age?
    • Not knowing how to invest?
    • Not knowing the rules from your corporate retirement plan or the IRS?

 

The specific risks are not questions that you need to answer prior to meeting with an advisor, but it is a good idea to have at least thought about them enough to be able to express your concerns to your advisor.  The more they understand you, the more help they can provide.

The first three questions in this segment are critical for you to have contemplated.  If you don’t know what your target income needs to be, what your resources are, and when you want to retire, the advisor can’t develop a detailed plan to meet those needs.

 

WHO YOU KNOW

Disclaimer first – Yes, it should be “whom” you know, but the phrase is what the phrase is!  Oh, well!  Now, let’s get to the discussion of who you know.

This is not about making connections with people who can pull strings for you, as this phrase is normally used.  This is about connecting with an advisor who has “the heart of a teacher,” as Dave Ramsey emphasizes.  Like Dave, we believe at GenWealth that the focal point needs to be, not on the sale of a product, but rather on a long-term relationship where the retiree/investor is growing in knowledge throughout the process.  So here are some questions to consider as you select an advisor to walk you through the process.

  • Is everything that the advisor does based on a written financial plan that is personalized for your needs?
  • Does the advisor seek to educate you in the process? At GenWealth, we call this “taking it from 10 to 2.”  In other words, we could speak in industry jargon, but we want to be sure that all investors, regardless of their financial knowledge, are comfortable with the way things are explained.
  • Is the advisor a good fit in terms of personality? They might do great technical work, but are they a fit for you?  This matters more and more over the years as you continue to work together.

 

WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW

Have you ever known anyone who had all the tools that they needed to be amazing at something, but they just didn’t take action and make it happen?  That’s so easy to see in others, but we often miss it in ourselves.  Don’t be that person with regard to retirement; here’s what you need to do with what you know.

  • Consider your goals.
  • Consult with an advisor.
  • Have your advisor create a written
  • Continue to stick with the plan, even when times are tough.

Retirement is a long journey, but it can be a very rewarding one.  Just like every journey you have ever taken, there is work involved in preparing for it and continuing the journey.