In the past, retirement meant you left the workforce at a defined age (usually 65) with a pension that took the place of a steady paycheck.
Today, you may want to—or have to—live off savings and investments sooner than at age 65. You may choose cycles of working and not working because you don't want to delay your dreams. Or you want to be more prepared to handle the personal impacts of the pandemic's effect on business and the workforce.
People are living longer and with improved health, extending the period during which they need income without earning it by working.
Regardless of why and when you stop earning income from employers or your own business, you must plan for it.
Financial planning goes beyond day-to-day budgeting (managing your income to buy things you need and pay bills). It includes building the financial resources to support your larger goals such as no longer working.
Professional retirement planning focuses on developing a smooth transition into living off your savings and investments. This includes determining what you want this life stage to be like and what it will mean to you mentally, emotionally, and physically.
The days of a guaranteed pension from an employer have largely disappeared. In its absence, employers offer options like 401K plans. Then Congress authorized IRAs. Both require you to make the decisions about where to invest your money.
This can be an overwhelming task. You need to live your life and likely don’t have the time or interest to follow the markets as closely as the professionals. (See "Why Is Investment Management Important?" section of our Investment Planning page for what's involved.)
The only option left is to live below your means and invest some of the surplus to have it available in the future. Most people need help with that.
On the WFS Experience page, we outline the steps we take.
There’s saving (setting aside income left after expenses), and then there’s investing (buying something with the expectation of generating an income or profit). We help you navigate those choices, understand any underlying assumptions, and deal with risk and loss.
Keep in mind that investing involves risk. You may incur a profit or loss regardless of the selected strategy.
WFS works with you to develop a plan in which we:
Together, we develop a written plan that describes:
As with our other services, we implement the plan we developed in earlier steps. If parts of it need to be addressed by other specialties, we bring in the appropriate resources to handle them and/or work with your other advisors as needed.
Depending on your needs, the plan may be implemented all at once or in stages.
The key to a successful financial plan is ongoing monitoring and adjustment. We review the plan together on a regular basis. We are always available to you in-between those reviews as well.