Time and time again I hear from retirees who are stressed about how to get organized and prepared for retirement. They are not sure where to turn for guidance, leaving them ill-prepared for what is before them.

What is puzzling to me is that the majority of the people that come into my office have a stockbroker who they have used for years or even decades. In other words, they have had a professional in their life yet; no retirement planning or preparation has been done.

Why is this happening?

What I have found is that there is a misconception about stockbrokers having your entire financial picture in mind when making investment recommendations. The fact of the matter is that they don’t. This does not make them bad people it just means that they are focused on investments. They are most often not going to talk with you about the details of a retirement plan which includes your cash flow, insurance, debt structure, legal work or tax situation. A stockbroker is trained to invest people’s money and that is what they do.

This may work fine for many people as they are working and saving money for the future. The details of a retirement plan seem so distant. However, the problem with this approach for a retiree is that your future is now. So, the approach of accumulating money for the future does not make a lot of sense when retirees are trying to position themselves to actually use the money they have saved.

There is an obvious disconnect and in my opinion, it is a misunderstanding of what it means to accumulate money and what it means to distribute money. When you are accumulating money you often seek stock market returns in a hope that over the years, after the ups and downs, you have made more than you have lost. On the other hand, when it comes to utilizing the money, the tendency is to focus on distribution and preservation.

You see, while you are working and earning a paycheck you are not dependent on your savings to live on. You are dependent on your job. However, when you retire, the security of a job is no longer present and the dependence shifts to your savings.

This explains why so many retirees reach a level of discomfort and stress when they approach retirement. The mindset and the strategies they have used to accumulate money is not inline with their current needs which leads to the uneasiness about what they are doing.

When it comes to retirement, there are several important decisions that have to be made quickly and some of the decisions are irrevocable. During this time it is important to have the right information available to help you navigate these decisions. Since 1993 we have worked with thousands of people helping them position for retirement. If you have retirement questions, we have answers.