On a recent weekend excursion to run some errands, one of which entailed sitting in the waiting room of the auto dealership waiting for my truck to be serviced, I heard a radio commercial whose focus seemed to be telling me what I was doing wrong regarding my financial future. What I didn’t hear—and what I knew better—was that the high cost of an annuity contract, paired with the minimal opportunity to influence how one’s money was invested, was not the most effective way to have a reliable monthly cash flow upon retiring. With 40+ years in the financial services industry, I have a more complete view of lifetime planning than the one offered by the 60-second sound bite of a luring commercial. Furthermore, these decades of experience have proven to me time and again that one’s financial investment planning requires regular upkeep and monitoring in order to keep it on-track—not unlike my truck’s maintenance.
At McKinley Carter, we believe serving clients is a far more comprehensive endeavor than simply provoking clients to think and take action concerning retirement. Our advisors meet regularly with clients to establish their milestone goals and structure a financial plan around those goals—and, much like consistently servicing a vehicle in order to prevent major issues down the road, we collaborate with clients regularly to align (and often realign) their financial resources with their lifetime goals. We have found that this alignment is maximized when we consider the entire scope of one's life, rather than just the years immediately before and after retirement. Further, we have found that lifetime planning helps bring focus and purpose to one’s years in retirement.
During one's earlier years of employment, there are many financially-centered aspects to consider; e.g. skills development; educational and professional certifications; career development and advancement opportunities; earnings potential; and retirement benefits and healthcare sustainability, to name a few. Being able to identify the financial requirements of a client’s aspirations, and implementing a financial plan to meet those requirements, is among the most fulfilling accomplishments for clients and advisors alike.
Additionally, a frequently overlooked aspect that we often observe at McKinley Carter is the potential preparation required for engaging in civic or other professional opportunities during later working and retirement years. For example, if one desires to seek a political office or board membership, there are relationships, networks, and vital experience that need to be developed and fostered to ensure qualification for the desired position. Similarly, as one considers volunteer service to nonprofit board possibilities, community networking development applies. Additionally, in the nonprofit community, it is a generally accepted understanding that board members will not just volunteer their time, but will also generously provide their financial support.
The time and money invested during one’s time of employment is ultimately intended to put the worries of life on “cruise control” in the retirement years. The time that becomes available can be used to pursue one's interests, whether it be family and grandchildren, paying it forward through philanthropy, serving the community through volunteerism, visiting and honoring lifelong friendships, taking up interesting hobbies, fulfilling educational pursuits, or traveling to see the wonders of creation.
In any of these scenarios, the financial factors that influence success during the years of employment and beyond require consistent service and the hands-on expertise of a “financial mechanic” to maximize their potential—just as the many working parts of a truck require a mechanic to keep them functioning optimally. McKinley Carter, like a good mechanic, is able to provide this vital maintenance through thoughtful planning, routine assessment, interactive dialogue, and state-of-the-art technological tools. If you’re interested in getting on the road to investing in a good life, please give our advisors a call today.