This past weekend my wife and I were happy participants of Chicago’s Financial Planning Day held at the Harold Washington Library. We participated in two events from that day. The first was a lecture on retirement planning and for the other we met with a financial advisor to have an outside perspective on our financial picture.
The presenter on retirement planning thoroughly surprised me, in a good way of course. I wish more financial advisers were like this guy. He definitely had the heart of a teacher and gave a good amount of straight talk. Although I have my own goals and pathways to retirement, this was a great gauge for me to listen in on questions and concerns from the general audience, I got a temperature gauge, if you will, on what common concerns are from people regarding retirement.
It was disheartening to hear the bulk of Q&A shift towards Social (In)Security. When to file, when not to file, when to file and suspend; All of these cares and concerns lead me to one conclusion – that those close to and near retirement are counting on this failing government system to provide income for them in retirement. This gives me an even greater motivation to write this blog. In my personal planning my goal is for 99.999999% of my income during retirement to come from my personal investment income from retirement vehicles (401k, Roth IRA) and taxable investments (brokerage account). The theme here is that I am planning to rely on myself, not the government, for my general well being.
Overall I thought the presentation was excellent. The adviser focused on investing for the long term and actually shared a lot of the same views held here at from 0 to one million, even down to a general dislike for target dated mutual funds! J
The Financial Advising Section
So here was my plan going into this part. I would present a financial advisor with our household’s overall financial picture. I would share my thoughts and concerns, and the advisor would show me holes in my plan that I have never thought of and offer tidbits on how my wife and I could improve our finances. Instead, as my wife lovingly put it, the advisor was shell-shocked with our current financial picture and, I quote directly from the advisor, had said, “I just don’t see many people in your situation.”
It was actually very humbling to hear a trained financial professional say that we have all of our ducks in a row. Most of our financial planning has been self-taught through trial and error and I was taken aback to hear, from someone who meets with people day in and day out, that we are on a strong financial path. So the bulk of our conversation focused on wealth transfer planning and long-term care insurance.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the event. So I highly recommend, when financial planning day comes to your town, to check it out and gather all of the information you can to make well rounded and educated decisions about your personal finances. I’ll end today with a quote that is kind of relevant to all of this.
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”