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Understanding Your Retirement

Updated: Jul 30

“Am I going to be able to retire?” is a question many ask themselves. Whether you’re 25 or 60 years old, planning for retirement can cause a bit of anxiety. Edward Jones financial advisor, Todd Schmekel, answered a few common concerns people have regarding retirement and investing. 

Make a Plan


Goal planning is key. The importance of identifying what your goals will be in retirement should be first, then it’s easier to plan how to reach those goals. 


Ask yourself what your definition of retirement is. Do you want to stop working completely? Are you planning to scale down your workload, or are you planning to pursue a completely different career path? While the hardest one to achieve is to stop working completely, Schmekel said most people can retire with a bit of planning. 


Assess Your Risk Tolerance


Knowing what your income will be in retirement depends on your goals and your aptitude for risk. Where is your income going to come from? A pension? A small business that will continue to generate income or money you have set aside? 


Have a Globally Diverse Portfolio


Setting up an investment portfolio is a critical step in achieving your goals. A financial advisor will review your goals and risk tolerance with you. They will be reviewing your portfolio on a regular basis to ensure you are meeting your goals. Schmekel said it’s not the client’s responsibility to know what’s going on in his portfolio. “You’re hiring them (investment broker) to do a job.”


Having a portfolio that is globally diverse, rebalanced often and having asset allocation are strong tactics to help you get the best performance. Common mistakes people make include “chasing performance” and thinking they’re smarter than the market is not rational. Taking advice from “tip buyers” is also a common error as well as buying based on emotions. 


Stay in Contact With Your Advisor


Connecting with your investor is crucial. Schmekel stressed the importance of staying in contact with your advisor, whether you have regularly scheduled meetings or calls, or a once a year review. “Ask questions when you don’t understand,” he said. “Return phone calls”. You need to be engaged with your financial advisor. 


To find the right financial advisor, Schmekel advises asking friends and colleagues who they are working with and why. “Look for people who naturally don’t have a product to sell you,” he said. Sit down and have a cup of coffee with a potential advisor before you agree to work with them. The advisor’s investment philosophy, life and values are important, as well. Find out how they are governed and look for someone who thinks outside the box. Compliance or “brokerage police” should be distant from the advisor. They should have no conflict of interest when it comes to advising you. 


A financial advisor will understand the investments you’re holding and work with you as the markets change and your own needs change. The world of investing can be difficult to understand. Trust an expert to guide you. 


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