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Our Approach

Our Approach: The 12 Keys to Successful Retirement Planning

We know that planning, identifying what is most important to you, and creating a blueprint, a specific plan, to help realize your ideal retirement is not simply about investments; investments are simply a means to an end.

Our approach involves following certain tenants as we work with our clients. The tenants below help us keep our eyes on the prize of your retirement goals and inform everything we do.

We Are Retirement Specialists

That is our primary focus, we work with clients from pre-retirement through retirement to the transition of assets to the next generation.

Our Partnership with You is Highly Personal

We work closely with a select group of clients, taking a limited number of new clients at any time. With this approach, we strive to become your family’s trusted advisor and partner in a lifelong relationship.

We Practice Values-Based Planning

We start by determining what is most important to our clients and what their values are. We think of ourselves more as life planners than financial planners.

Our Focus is on Your Retirement Goals

We do not just “manage” your money, instead we build a team of third-party experts who do nothing but manage money coordinating and tailoring that group to your goals.

We Provide Perspective

We seek to provide our clients with a framework to help you to make good decisions and evaluate trade-offs. To do this, we use technology to create a customized model for each client adjusting it as circumstances change. Our philosophy is “make it work on paper before proceeding to do it in the real world”. 

Your Long-Term Retirement Projection is a Cornerstone of Our Process

These projections help us determine what you need to do now to be able to retire when you want to. They also help us understand your disposable income available to fund retirement and then much you can spend comfortably without outliving your assets. This projects out how long your assets will last.

We Create Retirement Income Sourcing Plans

We use these to take into consideration each of your accounts and other sources of income to determine specifically where your retirement income will come from. We do this while seeking to optimize tax efficiency. It is not just what you make, but what you keep.

Liquidity and Tax Sensitivity are Critical Components to Retirement Readiness

First we determine your liquidity needs.  We then focus on income needs at appropriate levels. We avoid current income, beyond your needs, to the degree possible to avoid un-necessary taxation. We are attentive to the optimal tax positioning of assets.  It is important to be attentive to where an asset should be owned. 

We Think Outside the 60/40 Asset Allocation Box

A very common approach is to split assets between stocks and bonds, then begin systematic draws at retirement. This can have serious drawbacks including sequence of return and reverse dollar cost averaging risks. We avoid relying on just these traditional approaches: they have their place but, rather than one approach for all funds, we seek to use a time segmented approach where we first  seek to source much of your income from non-market dependent sources and then determine how much of your assets to subject to market risk.

Strengthen diversification via alternatives

Many firms rely almost entirely on asset class diversification with stocks and bonds. With increasing globalization, asset class diversification has become generally less effective. By supplementing with alternative investments: non- correlated stock and bond substitutes and guaranteed income sources, we can create a more strongly diversified retirement portfolio. 

Risk Control is of Utmost Importance

The traditional approach to risk management is to use bonds to dampen risk, however in this low-interest environment, they have their drawbacks, so we also deploy a very useful alternative: contractual risk control. This alternative approach can help buffer the dilutive effects of using bonds for risk control as is most traditional and common.  We are attentive to risk exposures which can harm your retirement plans.

Without Proper Distribution Planning, Even the Best Retirement Plans Can Fail

We seek to build the best distribution plans by using the ATS or Advanced Time Segmentation concepts and methodology. This resource assists us in laying out a strategy that creates inflation-adjusted income and addresses risk by giving equities time to potentially grow untouched. This approach allocates assets into different time segments based on the period of time and when those assets are expected to generate the income - short term, intermediate-term, and long term.

For more information about our firm and the services we offer, send us a quick email or call the office. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.  |  (925) 938-3200