Review the Day

We’ve been talking about some of the more negative things on the horizon, but we enjoy talking about them because we want you to have the information that you need to make smart decisions. We know that we can help you rectify your situation before a calamity happens.


There are a lot of red flags right now telling us the economy is likely to suffer a deep recession. I hope I’m wrong about that, but I’ve been doing this long enough that I know I’m probably not. We’ve had good times in the economy, and we’ve also had bad times. We had a serious recession about fifteen years ago in 2008. It may be about time that we’re due for another one.


I shared earlier how many years ago I followed what the financial industry told me to do to structure my parents’ retirement portfolio. Four years into their retirement, I had to deliver the news to them that half of their money was gone because the markets didn’t cooperate. Now, thank goodness, my father has a pension and Social Security. If it weren’t for those things, he would have had to go back to work. It was only because he had a pension that it all worked out.


I’ve since found a better way to do things. The financial industry doesn’t know anything when it comes to retirement planning. They’re not there to give you the assistance you need. The worst part about the financial industry is that they’re still giving the same advice to retirees that I gave to my parents twenty-three years ago. This kind of advice didn’t work in the early 2000s, it didn’t work in 2008, and it’s not going to work the next time the markets decide not to cooperate. The financial industry gives advice that’s good for them, but it’s not good for you.


There was another situation that happened that I will never forget. I had a client who I’ll call Chuck (not his real name). Chuck came to us in the fall of 2007. He worked for General Motors and had a million dollars in his 401K. He wanted to retire in a couple of months. He viewed a million dollars as the magic number for his retirement. We recommended that he move the money from his 401K into cash. He might miss out on a bit more upside between now and the beginning of the year, but he wouldn’t lose it. He was guaranteed to be able to retire on January 1st. He scheduled a time to meet with us in January after he retired so we could help him get everything set up.


Did Chuck move his money to cash? No. There was a stock market crash in 2008, but the markets had already started going down in the fall of 2007, and he didn’t move the money. In January, we called to confirm our appointment. He asked to back it up a month into February because his account had dropped down to $960,000. He figured it would take a month and he would be back to a million and could retire. We told him that he was still okay to retire at $960,000, given the income he needed. He didn’t need a million.


February came, and he bumped it back to March. In March, he bumped it back to April, and this went on for months. By the end of the year, he had never come in and he was down to $600,000. He didn’t have enough money, so he had to work FIVE more years before he got his account back to where he wanted and was able to retire.


When he came to me when he finally did retire, he wanted us to tell his story to others. In his case, working five more years didn’t kill him. He liked his job, and it wasn’t a big deal to keep working, but it was hurtful to him in another way.


When he wanted to retire, his grandson was six years old. Chuck had envisioned spending a lot of time with his grandson. He envisioned taking several weeks or even a month off to take him fishing or to Disney. Five years later, his grandson was eleven and spent all his time on his little iPad playing Animal Exchange. Chuck had one grandchild, and he felt like he lost the opportunity to make a significant impact. It wasn’t like the kid was twenty-five years old; he still had time, but there’s something about a grandparent spending time with a grandchild in those younger formative years that you never want to give up.


I’ll never forget being eight years old and playing cards with my grandparents. We played a game we called Crazy Rummy. My grandparents would never let us kids win. They believed that we could win when we earned it, and the first time I won that stupid game it was a big deal to me because I knew I earned it. They hadn’t just let me win. It took me a couple of years but when I finally won that game, I felt a sense of accomplishment. It taught me that if there’s something you want, you must work to earn it.


Markets won’t “let” you win. The financial industry doesn’t care about you. You are the one that cares about you. If you are recently retired or you’re going to retire within the next two or three years, now is the time to get your financial ducks in a row.  Make sure you have the right strategies in place to protect your retirement. If you’ve worked hard for 30-40 years, you deserve to have some time off to enjoy the fruits of your labor. The market isn’t going to give it to you though. You must be proactive and implement the right strategies.


That’s where we come into play. We put together a personalized Retire Right Report for you. It doesn’t matter if you have $100,000 or a million dollars. This report is built for you. Give us a call. Reach out to us so we can have a conversation. We’ll give you an idea of what your baseline is so you know where you sit today and what you can do to improve your situation. We want to make sure that if the best comes, you’re in great shape. If the worst comes, you’re still in great shape. Don’t hope for the best. Get a plan in place.







Past performance is not indicative of future results. The material above has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal or investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security or strategy. The investment strategy and themes discussed herein may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial situation. Information obtained from third-party sources is believed to be reliable though its accuracy is not guaranteed, and Centennial Advisors, LLC makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, which should not be used as the basis of any investment decision. Information contained on third party websites that Centennial Advisors, LLC may link to are not reviewed in their entirety for accuracy and Centennial Advisors, LLC assumes no liability for the information contained on these websites. Opinions expressed in this commentary reflect subjective judgments of the author based on conditions at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission from Centennial Advisors, LLC. For more information about Centennial Advisors, LLC, including our Form ADV brochures, please visit https://adviserinfo.sec.govor contact us at 512.265.5000.

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