Monday, January 3, 2011

If the Affluent Are Delaying Retirement, What Can the Rest of Us Expect?

If the Affluent Are Delaying Retirement, What Can the Rest of Us Expect?

HAPPY 2011! I wish you a prosperous and fruitful year ahead. Today I’d like to discuss a troubling finding from the “Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly,” which was released in October:

61 percent of the affluent Americans surveyed expect to retire later than they had originally planned, up from 29 percent in January 2010. In terms of investing, the survey also found that a large number continue to take a more conservative approach to managing their investments.

May I suggest you reread that finding again, this time paying close attention to what is happening here? This is both sad and scary! You see, this particular study seeks to measure the financial priorities and concerns of affluent Americans – although I doubt you’ll think this situation is limited to this group of Americans. Now, let me explain why I believe this is both sad and scary.

I’m thinking the only logical explanation as to why such a predicament would befall so many hard-working Americans is because they have been receiving and following the completely wrong financial roadmaps for all these years! As I have been saying all along – and pointed out in this article I recently wrote for the Maryland Women’s Journal – there is a right approach and a wrong approach to retirement finances. The sad thing, though, is that the vast majority of Americans spend a lifetime working hard and saving money, but pursuing the wrong, unrealistic financial strategies … only to realize it when it is usually far too late. How unhappy would you be if this were you?

What makes this finding scary is that most people follow some form of financial guidance either directly, by hiring a financial planner, or indirectly, by following advice from books, magazines, talk shows, blogs, newspapers, and other sources. Given that this particular study focuses on the affluent, it is not outrageous to assume that they have access to so-called top-notch, expert financial advisors. So how good can the strategies/advice be that they have been receiving all these years? Wouldn’t you agree that’s pretty scary?

How would you feel to realize that you can’t retire when you intended to because your nest egg was just crushed by something you should have been prepared for all along? The fact of the matter is that every investor needs to understand that investing is real and not theoretical, as it seems some advisors would have them believe. And in reality, approaching the investment of your life’s savings with a strategy hinging on the probability that you might get lucky has never been and will never be a viable plan. But that’s exactly how most Americans invest their hard-earned dollars. So should it be a surprise that their retirements face eminent danger?

I am especially proud about the fact that not a single one of our clients will have to delay their retirement by even a couple of hours due to the fact that the stock market tanked. I know for a fact that only a few smart investors are working with practical advisors who pursue stable, realistic strategies like the ones we employ here at Laser FG. This is one area where it is actually a good thing to be in the minority!
Please join me for a special workshop to explore practical concepts you can implement right away to eliminate most of the guesswork and count on a comfortable retirement. The date is Saturday, January 15, 2011. Call 301.949.4449 or follow this link today for more information and to reserve your seats.

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