Planning for Life
Gail Utter, MBA Financial Advisor, Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine (formerly SENIOR Magazine)
Life doesn’t always turn out exactly as envisioned. Reality sometimes nudges dreams in an unexpected direction. Whether your journey is right on course or took a more adventurous path than you imaged, there are opportunities for you. As most of us have learned over the years, to be happy we adapt, adjust and find joy in every day.
We understand that there’s more to living than accumulating wealth. Blessings that have nothing to do with money are among those we cherish most. Still, you want the best possible financial circumstance for you and your family, now and in the future. We want to help you build, preserve and protect what you have. To do that well, we learn about what’s important to you and then offer options for helping achieve your dreams.
Some of our busiest clients are retired. Their remarkable energy and interests leave little time for the hard work of research and monitoring portfolios. That’s where professional financial advisors provide a valued service. We work with you to assess (and periodically re-assess) your current situation and your goals for the future. Together, we’ll determine your risk comfort level and consider sound options to help you reach or maintain your desired standard of living.
It’s not unusual for people to ask whether their goal is reasonable. It’s partly about numbers and partly about what you’re willing to do – or choose not to do – to get there. So we look at all your assets (even the ones we don’t manage) and your financial data and see how closely the picture matches to what you tell us is of greatest importance to you. Even if there is a surprising gap, there are often solutions to help bridge the discrepancy.
One client may decide to postpone retirement for a few more years. One may find part-time work doing something she has always wanted to try. One may re-evaluate insurance coverage. One may choose to happily downsize. One may increase savings. One may give more to charity. One may establish a family trust.
There is no one-size-fits-all plan, and you wouldn’t want it if there were. Your retirement – your life – is unique. It shouldn’t look like your neighbors’ plan. And you aren’t stuck with an outdated version you may have created long ago that no longer meets your current needs.
Protecting What’s Yours
Many have worked hard for years to accumulate a nest egg from which they can live comfortably. They have varied sources of income and accounts that pay interest. They want to be “set for life.” To help ensure that level of security, it’s important to protect your wealth in case of major life changes that can dramatically alter economic realities.
If it’s applicable, we’ll talk with you about things like estate tax insurance, survivor income insurance, disability, and long-term care insurance.* It’s important that you know your options so you can make informed choices that work for you.
There are interesting studies about whether or not money makes people happy. Certainly it is a factor in what choices are available to us and whether we enjoy a materially comfortable lifestyle. But surprisingly, studies have shown that being happy isn’t always about money.
When we do what we love to do – in work and with our families and friends – we sense a higher quality of life. When we choose to be optimistic, we see things – even problems – differently. When we take responsibility for our own happiness, we find it without waiting for somebody else to fill our needs. There is freedom in choosing to live well, with or without great wealth.
One way we express our gratitude at Wells Fargo Advisors is by showing our clients how much they mean to us, as people and not just customers. We find that simply arranging for client appreciation events or remembering birthdays or inviting participation in community activities is a way for us to come together and enjoy one another. We are deeply grateful for the trust our clients place in us, and for their eagerness to share the relationship they have at Wells Fargo Advisors with others. It adds a remarkable pleasure to our work and, we hope, to those who engage our services.
Be happy! We encourage people at all stages of life to be grateful for what is and delight in what might be. It is never too late to dream.
Let Gail Utter help you explore choices and take charge of your retirement. She welcomes your questions and may be reached at 903-893-6227.