There are three reasons people retire.
- A planned retirement
- Forced retirement due to less work
- A forced retirement for personal or family health.
Number three is the reason I founded Richards Financial Planning.
In 2012, after twenty-five years of work as a securities broker and insurance agent, I was forced into retirement by illness. Some may refer to my situation as a partial or blurred retirement since I did not have a clean break from work.
Illness led me to reduce my workload to less than ten clients. To this day, I have never missed a step in servicing those clients. Some of them are businesses with retirement plans with many employees, and some of them are individuals. And most of those have never known about my personal situation until now. I am sharing this now because my forced retirement is what led to the beginning of Richards Financial Planning, which specializes in retirement income planning.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Forced retirement is one of the hardest types of retirement to experience. Most people are not financially ready to retire if they become disabled. For me, forced retirement was financially burdensome and psychologically draining. I had a personal disability plan that continued a portion of my income. Although, It did not take me long to realize that my disability plan would not provide for my wife and me through retirement. If I lived to be 90, that would mean that I would need to have 37 years of income. I needed to return to work
The investment world was changing.
My experience in investments and insurance gave me a lot of insight into how to create a financial plan. But my experience was from the perspective of selling products to solve financial problems. Moreover, selling entailed customers getting financial advice by paying a commission.
How society uses financial services today has changed. Not as many people buy products to solve financial problems. Yes, financial products do solve financial issues. But the product is not where people start now. People want a solution to their financial problem without regard to any financial product. Some people call that a fiduciary standard. To this end, it is a financial problem-solving process that puts the customer’s needs first. Then if financial products are part of the solution, the advice is provided for several alternatives to solve the financial problem. The process is selling information, not a product. The method of payment is fees based on service.
My financial service business needed to change.
At the beginning of my illness, I also realized that how I delivered financial services should change. Plus, the way that I delivered financial services needed to be on a fee basis rather than on a commission basis. To be able to provide this type of service effectively, I needed financial planning education using modern planning techniques. Oh, and I needed to recover from my condition and heal too.
I planned to search for a doctor that could help me. Rather than just sit at home and be disabled, I needed to continue to service the few clients that I maintained. Plus, I needed to increase my financial knowledge through a reputable financial services education program.
I found two doctors in Houston and one doctor in Tennessee that I thought could help my medical condition. Regretfully, this was not a quick process. It took me from 2012 until 2016 to find doctors that could help me. Between 2016 and 2018, I had four surgeries in Houston and Tennessee. By the grace of God, from 2018 until today, I have recovered about 80% of my ability to work.
Also, in that period, I enrolled in the Chartered Financial Consultant® program at the American College of Financial Services. It took me about three years to complete the ChFC® program. This program is an eight-course financial services program that prepares designees to provide client-centric financial planning advice.
Retirement planning does have some pitfalls. I have experienced some of them and compensated for them. Consequently, I obtained my ChFC® to help me learn better ways to help people plan for retirement. I created Richards Financial Planning as a business entity to provide advice to people who want to have a happy retirement.
My plan had flaws too
Usually, in life, the space between illness and health is not a straight line. Needless to say, I have had some setbacks. But I have been patient and asked for grace where needed. I continue to build my finances and pay off the past debts that accumulated during my illness.
My experiences have given me a more realistic view of helping people plan their future retirement. My ordeals have taught me a few realities. For example, I have noticed that sometimes, the best doctors are those that have overcome personal illness. Along the same line, the best preachers are those that have not led a perfect life. Undeniably, I can attest that my problems have helped me see the financial problems that people should plan to avoid in retirement.
The development of the Secure Future Plan
With the tools learned from my financial education and experience, I have developed a three-step process specifically designed for those creating income for retirement. Planning for retirement income is very different than the financial plan of accumulating wealth.
People have a lot of anxiety about retirement. The planning process I use helps people overcome their retirement anxieties. To clarify, if you’d like to read more about what is covered in the planning process, click here to read “How the Financial Plan Process Works”
Eight primary concerns of retirees are covered in the previously mentioned article. For this reason, all eight concerns are discussed in the first step of the Secure Future Plan. Talking about these eight issues helps us discover your expectations of retirement. Your expectations of retirement are an insight into your retirement concerns. In fact, what you worry about will control how happy you are in retirement. If you didn’t have to worry so much about the future, would you be happier? The Secure Future Plan will help you have a happy retirement. Here is the three-step process I use.
The three steps to build a Secure Future Plan
- We meet virtually and talk through your vision.
- I create a custom plan based on your goals.
- We implement the plan and keep you updated every step of the way.
The planning process takes three or four face-to-face meetings. Additionally, beyond the time we spend meeting with you, it takes ten to twelve hours of research and design to build a Secure Future Plan for you. Our hourly consultation rate is $167 per hour. For this reason, most plans cost about $2,000. If your plan is more complicated and involves more time, the cost may be more. However, we are able to establish the cost of building our service after the second meeting. The details of your plan’s design will be provided to you in an engagement letter.
If you’d like to learn more, click below to schedule a fifteen-minute conversation. Then we can discuss your questions and see if a get-to-know each other meeting would be appropriate.