Ever get busy? Like, really busy?
‘No, not today. We’re not going there until Thursday. Today’s Thursday?!?’,
‘What did I come in here for?’,
‘How am I ever gonna get all this done on time?’
kind of busy?
Sure you do. It happens.
I got busy running my business and keeping up with family and social life. Then, one day during the 2016 election cycle, I woke up and realized I had ignored our retirement account.
This was a time when it should have been doing well, but it hadn’t been really. The reason it hadn’t was because it was still invested the way I had left it from 4 years prior.
You know, the last time I looked at it.
That was a strange feeling, because I had clients whose investments I was directing and monitoring that were doing quite well.
The problem was, I wasn’t treating myself like a client. Easy fix, I thought. I just dove right in like I would any other account, looking for available investment options so I could analyze and compare them, then choose the right ones.
After some research online, I couldn’t find what I needed so I called the Provider. They weren’t very helpful, and seemed to be less-than-forthcoming with some fee & performance data. I happen to know the questions to ask to get the exact information I’m looking for, and I know what to ignore. I also learned that I’m accustomed to getting a certain level of detail in the private wealth management world that is sometimes not available in the 401k/403b world.
As I thought about this interaction from the standpoint of the average person who had become as busy as I had but didn’t have the expertise or maybe the patience that I have to get the full truthful answers, I wondered how they must feel.
How must it feel when their largest savings account is doing who-knows-what
…and they know they need to reach out for some answers about what to do
…but when they reach out, they either:
- get only part of the story (and they don’t know they didn’t get everything that mattered), or
- they end up talking with some young person fresh out of school that sounds like they’re reading from a textbook or from Investopedia or something and can’t understand anyone if they don’t use the same terminology he/she knows to use, or
- they are transferred to someone who is only a Broker and can’t give them advice on what to do and evidence to show why that strategy will work?
How must that feel?
I got a really good glimpse of that in 2016 when I called the Provider for my wife’s plan. I was also reminded of it when I looked into it again in the spring of 2017.
It’s not a good feeling for me, I admit.
Then, in 2017, three things came together at the same time and changed my course.
During that year:
- I built a retirement plan platform for clergy and was reminded of the inside of that process,
- I hooked up with a cool financial technology company that helped me get insights MUCH faster than before, and
- I also found some research about 401k & 403b plans and what the industry trends were moving toward.
(The industry wasn’t “fixing” anything major, but the trends showed me that savers wanted more from their plans, and when it was available, they were taking advantage of it.)
THESE THREE THINGS came together, and the vision for Retire Like A Boss knocked me out of my chair and DROVE ME to create this program.
Because I needed it.
I needed it.
Yes, even an INVESTMENT ADVISER needed it!
I needed a way to quickly assess what my level of risk was.
I needed a way to quickly and accurately analyze my investments to know which ones to invest in.
I needed a way to forecast the behavior of investments and determine what my retirement income was going to be.
I needed that!
So, I created it.
It’s everything I need, plus extra.
I don’t need to model various insurance vehicles, but I can do it.
I don’t need to monitor AND control multiple investment accounts from a single portal, but I can do it.
I don’t need to backtest investment performance of various options over history, either, but I can do it.
What I DO need is something that reminds me every 90 days to look at my account again.
What I DO need is something that lets me pick investments that match my current appetite for risk (because sometimes hours get cut back, health expenses mount, cars get wrecked, etc.).
What I DO need is something that can prove to me WITH 95% MATHEMATICAL CERTAINTY–not guesses or “averages”–what level of retirement income various investments will produce for me, and the likelihood my money will last.
That’s what I needed.
And, because our retirement plan Provider couldn’t do it for us, and I had the technology and the know-how, I built it.
BEFORE I had this solution, I was just like everybody else, at the mercy of what relatively limited information I could get from the Provider, which DID NOT include advice on what to invest in.
AFTER I’ve started using it, I’ve seen that our certainty of retiring with the lifestyle and income we wanted increased from 0% certainty to 90% certainty.
It feels good. Sooo good.
There was so much before that even I couldn’t see in our retirement account–even when I looked for it. But now, we can see it, and it looks GREAT.
- find yourself in the same boat I was in and
- can’t find any way to slow your life down, but
- you know it’s not wise to let your largest retirement income asset just flap along in the wind,
then let me show you how to get control of your retirement account the same way I take care of ours.
STEP 1: CALCULATE MY RISK NUMBER
I use a tool called the “Risk Number” to determine how much risk I want to tolerate. It’s quite a bit like the mattress comfort numbers we hear so much about, which are unique to each person.
You don’t have to sleep on the same mattress setting as your partner with them, and you don’t have to use the misfit investment mixes made on an assembly line either.
Just a few simple “do you prefer this or that” questions on a smartphone screen and I’m all set.
STEP 2: BUILD A COMFORT ZONE PORTFOLIO
With the Risk Number set, now I can match my preference with individual funds and mixes of investments to find that perfect fit for me.
To double-check a good investment mix, I run it through stress tests and check its actual historical performance through some rough patches I remember from the past.
If it needs tweaking, I tweak it. If it’s good, then I move on to…
STEP 3: THE RETIREMENT ROADMAP
This is where the rubber meets the road and everything becomes very real.
Basically, I’m asking two things of my retirement account:
- GROW, BABY, GROW!!
- Support my lifestyle of choice in retirement
I mean, that’s it. If it can’t do both of those, then what am I doing?
So, this Retirement Roadmap takes the investments I’ve chosen, calculates the historical performance of them individually, compares them with traditional broad market indexes, and factors in the forward-looking consensus of global economists.
That’s A LOT of math. But, computers today can handle it.
What comes out at the other end is a percentage of mathematical outcomes that meet my goals, from 0% to 95+%. What I’m looking for is 93 or better, or ‘A’ students.
YOU CAN DO THE SAME THING I DID
For boosting confidence, this totally works. My wife is super excited about being able to see on a plotted chart how our money will grow over time.
AND, she has longed for the feeling of knowing what kind of life we’ll be able to afford when we want to stop working.
Now, thanks to this Toolkit, it’s here.
Do you get busy? Do you leave your retirement account alone too, like I did?
Is nobody watching it? Is it impossible to get help from your Plan Provider, like it was for me?
Do you need to know more about it and how to make it work harder AND smarter for you?
I think you’ll find you have a new sense of hope about your future. Like, ‘95% mathematically certain’ kind of hope. (It feels good!)