Over the past 42 years, I have had the privilege of speaking with thousands of individual investors and during the process of getting to know their needs, desires and family goals, we always discuss concerns. Of those concerns, only a very small percentage are fortunate enough to have no worries or uneasiness about outliving their money. On the flip side, a very large percentage does have concerns about running out of money. In my experience, this is concern #1.
Advances in medical care will mean that Americans live longer and nearly all forecasts have life expectancies increasing over the years to come. With this, many are nervous about how a longer life expectancy will impact their money. With 20 years or more of living in retirement and needing to get your money to work for you, many surveys indicate that “outliving your money and affording health care” are the two primary worries of people saving for retirement.
As personal CFO’s for our clients, VisionQuest Wealth Management knows that accurate and current cash flow projections, combined with realistic spending demands, are essential to develop and maintain a strategy designed to help them outlive their money.
As we age, we endure medical issues as well as cost increases around health insurance, deductibles, drugs, medical supplies and more; the result can require a dramatic increase in the need for investments that produce cash flow. The delicate balance between maintaining sufficient income and manageable expenses becomes a primary focus for many of our clients. With age comes wisdom and with that wisdom I have found that the best approach towards avoiding surprises requires a discipline and accurate estimations of future cash flow through a realistic assessment of assets, debt, and cash reserves. *Please take note: Winning the lottery has no place in retirement cash flow projections and is highly discouraged. (All smiles)
My Point: There are a few tools that can help you understand and assess your likelihood of maintaining sufficient cash flow and these include accurate and up-to-date net worth statements, realistic return projections from investments, social security income and other accurate sources of income. Also, it is important to update your budget annually and ensure that income and expenses remain properly balanced. And life events like marriage, divorce, births and deaths are causes for immediate re-assessment to your situation. With the wisdom that I have acquired through the ages, it is wonderful for us, as Advisors, to simply talk about quarterly or annual investment returns or our overall performance relative to our benchmarks, but this kind of planning and utilizing tools that can help people with budgets, cash flow analysis, net worth statements and projections are more relevant and necessary for most of us. The positive is that as a client of VisionQuest, you receive this kind of advice nearly every quarter as we have invested thousands of dollars in tools and software designed to help you have complete knowledge of your financial picture and cash flow requirements.
We are focused on increasing your future cash flow through investing and proper tax planning and this accurate information we manage for you, helps us reveal any deficiencies or potential pitfalls in your plan that we may need to adjust for or overcome.
In closing, when you meet with us for quarterly reviews and utilize the technology, VQ Money, which we provide to you, the stress of cash flow management now and during retirement goes away. Anytime you want additional training or need assistance with VQ Money, don’t hesitate to contact your Client Relationship Manager for a free one-on-one training session. And as always, you can contact me directly with any questions, concerns or coordination.
Randall C. Griggs, CFP®, AWMA®, AAMS®
Senior Vice-President – Investment Committee Member