Let’s Stop Making Financial Planning Complicated

Plenty of things in life are complicated, but financial planning shouldn’t be one of them.

Some financial advisors tend to equate “complicated” with “intelligent,” which may explain all the dense, 100-page financial plans that are gathering dust on bookshelves across America. At Johnson Brunetti, we’ve learned from experience that short, concise financial plans with simple product presentations help our clients the most. We want to provide analysis and recommendations that are spot-on. Also, we want to communicate in a way that’s comprehensible to the average person. People should never be confused or overwhelmed with information when they leave a financial planning presentation. They should feel empowered and ready to make decisions.   

Clients Can Complicate Their Own Financial Plans

It’s not only advisors who add complexity to personal financial matters, clients do too. Especially when clients own so many different retirement accounts. For example, if pre-retirees are saving in employer-sponsored retirement plans, they may have changed employers frequently without moving or consolidating their savings. As time passes, they accumulate several 401(k) or 403(b) accounts along with a few IRAs. The result is a mountain of statements that have to be organized and analyzed.

Complexity like this in your retirement savings makes it harder to know where you stand relative to your retirement goals. It becomes more difficult to get your arms around your portfolio’s total performance. Not only that, but the overall level of risk you’re taking as well. Plus, all the fees and trading costs you’re paying. Contrary to what you may think, having all these accounts doesn’t necessarily result in greater diversification. The overlap between investments in different mutual funds and ETFs can lead to unnecessary duplication and inefficiency.    

Basic Retirement Questions

I’ve found that most pre-retirees who turn to us at Johnson Brunetti have basic questions that are quite similar: Where do I stand in terms of retirement savings? Will I be financially comfortable in retirement? Will I run out of money if I live a long life? Our mission is to provide answers and advice that consistently bolster client confidence in and optimism about the future.

It’s really just that simple.