7 Personal Decision Points

Over our more than 24 years advising thousands of retirees and pre-retirees, we’ve developed the 7 Personal Decision Points process to help you clearly define, not only where you are in the retirement transition process, but to help you identify your short and long-term goals.

Once your goals are clear, we work with you to create a highly personalized and easy-to-digest roadmap that helps you achieve your retirement dreams. Our 7 Personal Decision Points process will address:

The first step concerns analyzing what your income needs will be once you leave your job. Everyone’s retirement is unique, so while many articles state that retirees need to replace 70 percent of their pre-retirement income, our process helps determine what you’ll actually need in retirement.

As you prepare for retirement, identifying what your expenses and debts are, and then working with you to devise a plan that can help reduce or eliminate them before you stop working is an essential part of the preparation and transition process.

When it comes to taxation, the IRS does not treat all retirement accounts equally. Smart, proactive tax planning looks years into the future and then helps ascertain that the “draw down” of your retirement accounts occurs in the most tax-efficient way. This can save you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Besides making recommendations, your Hanson McClain advisor will work in tandem with your CPA or tax preparation professional to make sure your tax planning interests are being served.

Because your retirement may last 30 years, or more, your money has to continue to work and earn income. All investments carry risk. Because of this, we seek to allocate your portfolio in such a way as to maximize market upswings while attempting to simultaneously balance your investments to protect you from downturns. Understanding what your income, risk tolerance and time horizon requirements are allows us to make recommendations that support and help meet your financial needs.

Risk management is an important part of a comprehensive financial plan. It includes ongoing assessments of potential risks that may result from major health events, lawsuits, or even premature death. Your Hanson McClain advisor will review your situation, and then provide you with advice about how to better protect yourself, your family and your assets.

As part of your comprehensive financial plan, we make recommendations that may help protect your wishes and your heirs once you become deceased. Wills, living trusts, retirement account beneficiaries, and the process to help you avoid probate are just a few of the important areas that estate planning takes into consideration.

When you retire, you’ll likely have multiple sources of income such as a 401(k), IRA and social security. Because each is taxed differently, the order and sequencing of your “draw down” should only be undertaken after years of advance planning. We evaluate each income source and provide a plan of action that can help you to maximize your money.

This process results in the delivery of your initial 7 Personal Decision Points Financial Plan, but it doesn’t end there. As changes occur in your life, it requires a reapplication of our processes and an update of your plan.

Retirement is so much more than merely applying numbers to a spreadsheet. It’s about identifying what you want from the experience, and then looking five, ten or even thirty years into the future to make that possible.