Helping clients retire with peace of mind: our approach

While investing our clients’ money is important work, it isn’t where we spend most of our time. Every investment client arrives on our doorstep with a distinct set of concerns and hopes for their financial lives and for each of those, we go beyond merely picking stocks to take steps that set their minds at ease.
As it turns out, this is the most satisfying part of our jobs. Ensuring that our clients can go about living their best lives – lives that center on the simple pleasures of roly-poly grandkids and tomatoes in the garden, on the satisfaction of civic and community engagement, and on the fun of a Sunday golf game – is at the heart of everything we do for them.
What does this look like? A lot of it has to do with figuring out our clients’ concerns and getting out ahead of them with proven, stress-free solutions. Here are some of the concerns we hear most frequently along with how we address them.
 
“I worry I won’t have enough money to live on” or, relatedly, “I worry that while I might be able to live on what I have, it won’t be enough to enjoy life.”
This is our clients’ top concern and so we spend a lot of time putting the pieces into place to ensure they feel comfortable with where their retirement is headed. To get there, we interview them to assess their total financial picture and to gain a thorough understanding of their values, dreams, and desires. Then we build and deploy an effective, easy-to-understand financial plan for drawing down their nest egg in a way that leaves plenty of room to enjoy life. This process often produces a lot of relief for our clients. For example, we were able to give one of our clients a wonderful surprise when we told him that he had enough money saved that he could quit his job right now if he wanted. He took us up on that!
 
“I worry that market volatility is going to cripple my nest egg.”
Investing in the markets can feel uncertain and that’s where we step in. With a customized investment plan in place that we monitor against market movements, our clients can rest easy.  Regardless of how the markets are performing, they have the confidence and peace of mind to focus on the things that really matter most to them, whether it’s eating an ice cream cone with a special grandson, walking the dog around Goldwater Lake, or taking a cruise around the world.
 
“All of this financial stuff makes my head hurt. I wish it were simpler!”
Our financial lives can be complex. One of our clients, a recent widow, came to us overwhelmed. Her husband had taken care of their financial lives for years and when he died, he left behind accounts at multiple financial institutions. She told us she didn’t know where to start.
Part of our job is to take the reins to sort out finances as much as possible and simplify our clients’ role to the parts they like and enjoy. We do this in several ways: by being as available as our clients need us to be, by staying on top of their accounts and investments, and by coordinating among their providers, including accountants and trust attorneys, as needed. When our clients express that they feel they have a trustworthy team supporting their financial lives, we know we’re doing our jobs right.
For our widowed client, taking over the coordination of her finances allowed her to spend more with her daughter’s family, who lived several states away.
 
“I worry about what life might be like for me as I get older.”
A less well-known role of a financial advisor is to serve as part of our clients’ social safety net. We have a strong commitment to look out for our clients’ interests. For example, we watch for irregularities that might mean fraud or abuse and take steps to safeguard our clients. We also serve as a safety net for widowed spouses. Several clients of ours have expressed a tremendous sense of relief in knowing their wives will have a good financial team if they pass away. We consider it a privilege to have that trust; in fact, it’s at the heart of what we do.