Created: July 6, 2020
Modified: September 21, 2022

2 Common Questions Retirees Ask Advisors

Today we’re going to talk about two of the most common questions that retirees ask advisors. In fact, we’re going to break this down to make it really basic. Now, don’t tune out because, for most people, they make things way too complicated. People over-complicate things in life, right? They tend to make simple decisions way too complicated, become overwhelmed, and can’t move forward.

Go Back to The Basics With Financial Planning

Let’s go back to the basics of Financial Planning. What I’ve found is that whether you’re already retired or getting close, two basic questions need to be answered. In my experience, if people get these two questions answered it takes away a lot of financial uncertainty.

What Are the 2 Most Common Questions Retirees Ask Advisors?

  1. Will I Be OK?
  2. What Rate of Return Do I Need?

Question 1: Will I Be OK?

For most people, this question means one of two things:

  • Am I going to have enough income to last for the rest of my life?

Or, people that are more well-off, answer a different version of that question. These folks people will just say they want to make sure that their money can support their lifestyle. There’s a little subtlety in there, which is that those are both basically the same answer.

  • Will you be able to have income from your savings, investments, etc. to maintain the lifestyle that you want? Can you reach those goals?

Question 2: What Rate of Return Do I Need?

What rate of return do you need on your investments to help make sure you’ll be OK? Any projection that goes out several years assumes a certain rate of return. Does it assume zero, 4%, or 8%? Do you need 12%? If you need 12% to be OK, you’ve got a problem. You’ll have to possibly dial back on your expectations. It’s very hard to get 12% over a long period of time, and you may run out of money. Especially when your emotions get in the way when the stock market jumps around.

We help people answer these two questions all the time. Our income projections can help show you if you have enough money to retire. We base it on a certain rate of return to last for the rest of your life. Again, pick up on the second part of that question. If an advisor tells you that you’re going to be OK, what rate of return are they assuming for that to be true?

How Johnson Brunetti Answers These Questions

When Johnson Brunetti does an income analysis for somebody, we take you through:

  • What rate of return you will need
  • If you have saved enough money or not
  • What could happen when the market is acting like a roller coaster
  • What could happen if we just put all of your money into something more long-term

All in all, how do those things factor in?

Think About Your Situation and Income Plan

I want you to think about your situation. If have high confidence, can you say you’re absolutely going to be OK based on:

  • The money you’ve saved?
  • Your future income?
  • Have you factored inflation in?
  • What if what you can buy with $10,000 a month today costs $20,000 in the future?

A good income plan will factor in all these considerations. If you can answer that question as “yes”, then based on what rate of return? A good financial advisor will tailor your investments to this rate of return. In fact, way too many so-called financial advisors or stockbrokers get so obsessed with what investments you own. Then they help you get obsessed with those investments and forget about the big picture.

Different Rates of Return

I will tell you this. If Johnson Brunetti does this analysis and we find out a client only needs to get a 4% rate of return and another client needs to get an 8% rate of return, the investment strategies to get there will be very different. One person doesn’t have to take nearly as much risk as the other. If you’re counting on that 8% rate of return, you might outlive your money. Or maybe we need to have a very tough conversation about ways to modify spending.

If You Haven’t Had These Two Retirement Questions Answered…

It’s very important to go through that exercise. The advisors at Johnson Brunetti can help you go through that exercise, and so can other financial advisors. The key is to leave that meeting with confidence and less fear than you came in with. However, keep in mind that it’s hard to have 100% guaranteed certainty.

Although some of this has been basic, even the smartest people mess this up because they make things way too complicated. They start focusing on the wrong things, especially when times are uncertain.

We can help you answer them. Request your free visit with one of our financial advisors today to get started. In all this confusion that’s going on – the uncertainty, the noise in the media, and the different information coming from various sources – you’ve got to find a way to clarify things. I would suggest you go back to the basics and make sure you’ve got these two retirement questions answered.

If you liked this topic, but aren’t ready to request a call just yet, you will enjoy my Virtual Financial Workshop which I made to give you some basic financial concepts to think about. You can also attend one of our free educational workshops to learn some of these concepts in-person at a location near you.

  • Sandy and Thomas C.
    Sandy & Thomas C. are clients of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for their statement.

    “We always felt our financial needs were in very capable hands. Alex Angst is great to work with. Our advisor always made us feel he had our best interests at heart and explained things so we could understand them.”

  • Lisa D.
    Lisa D. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for her statement.

    “Working with Johnson Brunetti has had a positive impact on my life by providing me with the knowledge, confidence, and peace of mind to move forward with my retirement plans. The process of getting to this point, through their guidance, has been informative and pleasurable.”

  • Ken D.
    Ken D. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for his statement.

    “I view your company as one that puts my interests first. I think that is very uncommon and very refreshing. “

  • Jeanne P.
    Jeanne P. is a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for her statement.

    “Matt does an awesome job! So easy to understand and he listens to our concerns and addresses them! happy I chose your firm!”

  • Anonymous
    This testimonial was provided by a client of Johnson Brunetti and received no compensation for their statement.

    “I have been pleased with the help and service I have received from the company. I have met several team members on Eric’s team and have found all of them very well prepared to meet with me when reviewing my portfolio. I always feel that I am an important customer and appreciate that very much. I hope the firm continues to focus on the customer and maintains its great service. I think you do a great job for someone like me!!!! I’m happy I chose your firm!”

Johnson Brunetti
Welcome to Our New Website!
Everything was designed with you in mind, making our retirement planning resources more easily accessible to you.
Check out your new resource center, where everything can be organized by article type or topic
Are you ready to speak with a financial advisor?
Johnson Brunetti

Investment Advisory Services offered through JB Capital, LLC.
Insurance Products offered through JN Financial, LLC.
Atlanta • Boston • Hartford | Tel: 800-208-7233

JB Capital LLC is a federally registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply any level of skill or training. Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.

JB Capital's Form ADV | Disclaimer | Privacy Notice | Client Relationship Summary

*Information about our Affiliation with the UConn Huskies

Johnson Brunetti is a sponsor of WFSB Better Money, WCVB Better Money Boston, WSB-TV Better Money Atlanta, WTNH Money Wisdom, and WTIC Money Wisdom.