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One Size Does Not Fit All

By David Smyth

Over the past several weeks, I’ve had several interactions with clients we’ll simply refer to as “snowbirds.” Most of these folks are retirees, and they’ve just returned from spending time on a warm, sunny beach somewhere south of here. And while I’m incredibly jealous of their escape from Kentucky’s winter wonderland, I enjoy hearing about their trips. In fact, I found one particular conversation especially thought-provoking.

During this conversation, a client told me about a chat he’d had with his other recently-retired friends while on vacation. One evening over dinner, the discussion quickly turned to financial planning. The friends talked about topics ranging from selecting a pension plan to applying for medicare and drawing social security benefits.

This seemed to be a very normal conversation to my client until he and his friends discovered that they’d all been given different advice on how to handle the topics mentioned above. The friends were virtually the same age and had all worked in similar professions. How was it possible for the suggestions they had received concerning retirement to be so different?

I thought about his observations and then realized that, while it may be confusing, differing advice is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if my clients (with similar ages and backgrounds) compared notes after meeting with me, it is highly likely that they would discover that each had been advised differently.

Retirement advice differs among my clients simply because no two families are exactly the same, and sound financial planning should reflect this. While backgrounds, ages or professions may be similar, these factors aren’t enough to form successful plans for the future.

Let me take a moment to caution those of you who may work with a financial advisor whose advice is the same for all clients. I encourage you to question the validity of the service you’re receiving, simply because this cookie-cutter approach often fails to consider your family’s unique characteristics.

A good financial advisor takes multiple items into consideration. Factors such as health, saving and spending patterns, and retirement needs and expectations should all be discussed before recommendations are made. Some families may need cash flow that allows them to care for loved ones, while others hope to buy a new home or relocate during retirement. At the end of the day, a one-size-fits-all financial plan simply does not exist, despite the numerous books and online blogs that may suggest otherwise. Personalization is key when it comes to your financial plan.

This is why I believe there is value in working with our team. We will work to get to know you and your family. And as we learn more, we are better equipped to make recommendations that are specific to your needs and goals.

If you are not working with us, and you’ve found that the cookie-cutter approach from your current advisor just isn’t working, give Scott, Alex or me a call today! During your initial, complementary meeting, our team will show you how we’ll develop a plan that is catered to your specific needs.

If you are already a client, we simply ask that you keep us informed. When something changes in your life, please let us know. The only way our personalized approach can succeed is if we know you and are kept up to date on all of life’s ups and downs. After all, we do consider you a part of our family!

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