By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF®
Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM
Accredited Investment Fiduciary®
I began working with a newer client about nine months ago. He is a successful semi-retired entrepreneur who has done a great job building and protecting his net worth. Throughout the years, he has worked with various financial planners, attorneys, CPAs and wealth management firms. His portfolio is robust with investments, insurances and a trust. At our initial meeting, I’d asked him “What is the most important thing I can help you with?” He replied as many do, with a list. Top of the priorities was to manage investments actively, to have ongoing advice on what to do with his money, to receive cash flow projections and to obtain investment advice on other wealth management tools that he should consider, if any. This particular gentleman is investment savvy, having managed his own money for many years. He wants to be hands-on making decisions but does not want to do the day-to-day investment management. He recognizes that tax rules and options to manage wealth are dynamic and ever changing. We had a long discussion about the investments, advice and service he has received throughout the years. Then, he told me of the best retirement advice he has ever received.
Many years ago, when my client and his wife were in their early 50’s, they were working with an attorney and a financial planner. The attorney drafted a revocable trust which continues to hold most of their assets today. The financial planner placed some of their money in new investments and did a risk management analysis. The husband and wife recognized the need for life insurance, were in good health, made it favorably through underwriting, and policies were put in place. They were reluctant, however, when the planner told them that they should also have long term care insurance, just in case. My client went on to explain to me that he didn’t like the advice at all. The coverage seemed expensive and he and his wife were healthy and active, never envisioning either could need long term care. He put his trust in the professionals he was working with though, and followed their advice anyway. Policies were put into place with lifetime coverage. Sadly, some years later, his wife began to suffer cognitive decline, progressing to Alzheimer’s disease. She has been in a care facility now for about ten years. The emotional toil watching a loved one suffer is something none of us can imagine the full effects of, until it happens personally. Life changes for the whole family. The ability to choose the care we want, and the quality of care our loved ones receive is of utmost importance. Thankfully this family has had that control. There has not been financial stress for my client due to cost of ongoing care. Each month, the expenses are submitted to the insurance company, a check is cut and bills are paid. Without the guidance of his attorney and financial planner, the family assets by now would have been exhausted. It would not have mattered how good any of his investments preformed; they would have been consumed to pay for long term care if not for protection provided by the policy. This, my client told me, is by far the best retirement advice he has ever received.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. You should discuss your specific situation with the appropriate professional before making any decision.
LouAnn Schulfer is co-owner of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals and can be reached at (715) 343-9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.SchulferAndAssociates.com Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.