“We were rehearsed endlessly for attacking beach defenses but not one day was given to the terrain behind the beaches, which was no less difficult and deadly.”
— D-Day Battalion Commander
Coincident with the 73rd anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, Tony Isola wrote a great article highlighting the unexpected challenges the Allied forces encountered after they crossed the beaches. The farm lands of Normandy were carved up and fenced off by a dense network of difficult-to-penetrate hedgerows. Allied Forces were incredibly trained and prepared for the beach landings, but hardly a thought was given to the next stage of the battle.
As Tony points out, investors have their own hedgerow fortifications to surmount. There is great focus and effort put forth around saving for retirement, but what about the next stage of life? Questions and decision points include:
- How long do I need to work so my money won’t run out?
- What would be considered a “safe” withdrawal percentage from my funds?
- When should I take Social Security; and what strategy should I use?
- Do I need long-term care insurance?
- Now that I am retired, should I invest my money differently?
- How much will Medicare cost and what programs should I enroll in?
- Can I afford to give cash to family members; and if I can, how much?
- Have I updated all my beneficiaries and picked the right people to take over my finances to make the best decisions regarding my health if I cannot?
- What am I going to do all day if my retirement is fully funded?
- Should I take a cash balance or turn my funds into an annuity from my workplace retirement plan?
- Do I own too much of my company’s stock?
- Will my plan still work if we have another “Great Recession?”
- When should I start taking money from my tax-deferred accounts; and how will this affect my taxes?
Answering these with confidence, constructing a solid plan based on these answers, and executing that plan with discipline are the real reasons why people who have accumulated wealth work with a trusted advisor.