I was humbled and a little embarrassed, but I’m glad it happened . . .
But before I tell you this story, I’d like you to read this recent MarketWatch article by Andy Landis. It’s about a recent wave of interest in financial advice circles about maximizing Social Security benefits and the choices and filing options that retirees should consider.
Now back to my story . . .
A few months ago, I reached out some of my contacts to inquire about their interest in a new service I was thinking about offering. It was a Social Security analysis that was designed to help clients maximize their lifetime Social Security benefits based on their life expectancy, marital status, and timing of when they started their benefits.
I received replies with varying degrees of interest in such a service.
However, one client humbled me with a reminder that my work is about helping people make the most of their one shot at life. It’s not about an isolated analysis of how to get the most money out of Social Security. And certainly not without considering how Social Security plays a role in a person’s overall plan. And their overall life.
She also sent the Andy Landis article to me to really drive the message home.
And it worked.
I was a little angry at myself and more than a little embarrassed, but ultimately I was thankful for the reminder. (Thank you again, Betty)
But I think the story here is much broader than Social Security benefits. As Andy Landis shares in his article, and as my client reminded me, it’s dangerous to make any financial decision without considering how it will impact other areas of your life.
For instance, your level of investment risk can impact:
- your savings level
- your child’s education
- the timing and achievable lifestyle of your retirement
- your estate planning
- your taxes
- and more
As a reminder (as much for myself as for you), what I do is help affluent baby boomer widows and divorcees understand all their financial choices and the trade-offs among them and use this information to help them make the most of their one shot at life. I help these women turn chance into choice.
But I lost sight of this important mission for a moment. Until I got a timely reminder from a client.
Near the end of the article, Mr. Landis writes what I’ve often said and was recently reminded of. You don’t just want to simply maximize your dollars; you want to maximize your life. With that in mind, the article references the benefits of a financial life planning approach which another good way to describe what I do.
In other words, it’s not just a discussion of “return on investment.” It’s really about helping you get the most “return on life” possible.