When Bob first came to us, he had just turned 50. As he told it, on the morning of his birthday, he had an epiphany. When he woke up that day, he experienced a unique realization that hit him like a sudden bolt of lightning: it is time to shift his focus from “keeping up with the Joneses”, and to actively start thinking about the next stage of his life. He had been working very hard 25 years and had achieved some success. He had accumulated some financial wealth, and was now in his peak earning years. His kids we growing older, two of them already in college, and the idea of becoming an “empty nester” was starting to come to life. He was starting to ponder a lifestyle in which he hoped to have the financial freedom to work less and do more of the things he want to do – travel, go fishing more often, spend more time with his wife Susan. He knew he wanted to eventually slow down his work schedule, and possibly semi-retire at some point.
He had a vision of that relaxed and “low stress” lifestyle but didn’t have a plan on how to achieve it and realized that he only had 10 or 15 years to get ready. He had spent almost no time planning and organizing his financial life. Although he had accumulated some wealth in a “collection” of 401(k)’s, mutual funds, brokerage accounts, 529 plans, annuities and insurance policies, he had no real plan – certainly not in writing – and knew he needed to get one…now. In short, he was in the “Retirement Red Zone”.
Here’s how we help
When it came to their money, Bob and Susan were confused and disorganized. They felt that they not only didn’t have all the answers they needed, they didn’t even know the right questions to ask. They had worked with their “stockbroker” on building an investment portfolio over the years, but they had never really worked with them to design an actual financial plan. They had never really sat down together and agreed on their most important long term financial goals, calculated how much money they would need to accumulate, and agree on what they were willing to save to reach those goals. They had no household budget, and were not on the same page with respect to their household spending and savings decisions. They had a disorganized “collection”of financial products they had purchased over time, but no organized theme to their investment and insurance strategy – they had a portfolio, but not a plan.
In short, Bob and Susan had spent the last 20 years of their lives working hard to make a living and raise their kids, but they hadn’t spent much time thinking about the future, and planning their financial lives. They knew they needed help. Sound familiar?
When we initially meet with them, we had a deep conversation about what was most important to them both…what they most hoped and dreamed they might accomplish financially. They listened to each other’s perspectives about their future goals, and we helped them got on the same page about what they wanted to accomplish and what they were willing to do to accomplish it. They developed a shared understanding of the importance of making a commitment to a process of planning for their future, if they ever hoped to achieve the life of financial freedom they so desired.
Next, we helped them to organize and simplify their current finances so that they could finally see the whole picture, and how everything they own fits together. We designed a date and dollar specific plan for achieving their key financial objectives and put it in writing. Mot importantly, they committed to each other that they would maintain the discipline to execute their plan,and agreed to listen to us as their “Accountability Coach” to help them maintain that discipline, so they won’t wander off of the plan.
Bob and Susan now meet with there Concentus team regularly to evaluate their progress against their plan, discuss necessary course corrections to make, and execute actions necessary to maximize the efficiency of their financial management.
They are right on track with their plan, and are extremely confident that they will be financially free. They no longer feel confused, overwhelmed or stressed about their financial future any more, because they have the clarity around their finances that they will be able to achieve their most cherished goals.