Trouble in Paradise Could be Easily Overlooked

Q: Pam recently asked, “Dear Derek: My husband and I have just about to retired and wanted to ask what events you find that most people overlook the most when planning for retirement?”

A: Great question, Pam! All too often I find that people are focused too much on the performance of their investments and not the events that might derail their ability to live a happy retirement. To answer your question, my experience is that most have not dealt with an advisor who asks the right questions. For example, I believe a key question that must be addressed is the following: Are you prepared for the possibility that your child or their higher-earning spouse becomes disabled and cannot earn a living for their family? This could occur through a stroke, cardiac event, long-term neurological disease. How would you handle their ongoing care and the financial needs of your grandchildren and your child or in-law? Would this event significantly compromise your financial capability to live your retirement to the fullest? I realize this may seem like a rare occurrence, but research has shown that stroke is also a leading cause of long-term disability, and men under age 44 are hospitalized for ischemic stroke at a higher rate than women in the same age group.

The question of predeceased heirs is only one of many that you must consider when properly designing your wealth transfer plan. It is grossly important that work with a “financial quarterback” and not a siloed practitioner when contemplating a master plan for the transfer of your wealth. At this point in life, you may have worked with a stockbroker or investment professional on investment selection during the accumulation phase, but now you must identify who the financial counselor will be who can bring together the right professionals to ensure that you have the right asset protection plan, income tax mitigation plan, estate tax mitigation plan, property and casualty protection plan, and that your directives are designed to be inclusive of your most important desires for your wealth.

If you would like to better understand how this process is managed and implemented, please feel free to email me at and I will walk you through how we manage such endeavors on behalf of our clients. Feel free to check out our business reviews at

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